CFA 15/MAR/07-4


National Zoological Park
United States

Smithsonian Institution
National Zoological Park
Asia Trail Phase II: Elephant House, habitat renovation, and additions to existing facilities
Review Type
Revised concept
Previous Review


Dear Mr. Rombach:

At its meeting of 15 March, the Commission of Fine Arts reviewed and approved the revised concept design for the renovation and expansion of the Elephant House and the development of Phase II of the National Zoological Park's Asia Trail.

The Commission appreciated the effort to enhance the park experience along the Asia Trail and to revise substantially the proposed design for the expansion of the Elephant House. In their discussion, the Commission members strongly supported the concept of treating the addition as a "barn," or simple utilitarian structure which is subordinate in massing and detailing to the historic building. They commented that it is not necessary to replicate the exact materials from the original Elephant House on the front elevation, recommending that the architectural treatment of the addition's three elevations should be more similar to each other and simplified to include fewer individual elements, such as the additive metal panels at the staff entrance.

The next submission should address these recommendations and include additional design information on the other proposed structures and landscape treatments in the Asia Trail Phase II development. The Commission looks forward to the prompt resolution of the design of this important project to improve the elephants' environment.


Thomas E. Luebke, AIA

Harry Rombach
Associate Director for Facilities Master Planning
Smithsonian Institution
P.O. Box 37012, MRC 511
Washington, DC 20013-7012

cc: Michael Holleman, Vitetta