CFA 15/FEB/24-6


4530 MacArthur Boulevard, NW
Washington, DC
United States

D.C. Department of General Services
MacArthur High School
Renovations and additions to building and landscape
Review Type
Submitted Documents


Dear Mr. Hunter:

In its public meeting of 15 February conducted by videoconference, the Commission of Fine Arts reviewed a concept design for the renovation and expansion of the MacArthur High School and its associated landscape at 4530 MacArthur Boulevard, NW. While expressing support for the general massing and location of the addition, the Commission members present did not recommend an action on the concept design and provided the following comments.

Recognizing the challenges of the property—its topography, eclectic composition of architecture, and constrained visibility and access from MacArthur Boulevard—the Commission members found the proposed addition’s location and general form to be appropriate. However, they questioned whether the design for the addition would be successful in establishing a new school identity, and they therefore recommended developing a more deliberate composition for the metal panelized system for the upper level that would be less bright in color, with the overall goal of establishing a complementary material and color palette for the addition. They cited the successful detailing of the horizontal brick cladding, which unites the building with the landscape, but they questioned the application of this detailing across the long entrance opening. For the design of the site, they suggested incorporating additional seating at the building entrance and developing traffic-slowing measures to make the entrance roadway safer for pedestrians and cyclists.

As a quorum was not present for the review, these comments will be placed on the administrative agenda for confirmation at the Commission’s next meeting. Please continue consulting on the development of this important project with the staff which, as always, is available to assist you.

/s/Thomas E. Luebke, FAIA

Delano Hunter, Director
D.C. Department of General Services
3924 Minnesota Avenue, NE
Washington, DC 20019

cc: Marnique Heath, Studios Architecture
Danielle Alexander, Studio AKA
Renee Pean, D.C. Public Schools