2500 14th Street NW
Dear Mr. Anderson:
In its meeting of 15 November, the Commission of Fine Arts reviewed a concept design for a new building for the dual program of short-term family housing and permanent supportive housing in Ward 1 at 2500 14th Street, NW. The Commission approved the submission and provided the following comments.
The Commission members noted the intention to differentiate the two housing programs in the design with architecturally distinctive wings; however, they advised that this differentiation should not come at the expense of a coherent building expression, suggesting that the two wings be more related in appearance. They expressed support for the facade detailing and irregular fenestration of the western wing, but cautioned that the more prominent eastern wing—which would identify the building to the community along 14th Street—has an institutional or commercial character that is inappropriate for this residential building. In addition, they commented that the courtyard facades of these wings would define the quality of the central play space, and the elevations should be detailed to create a safe and welcoming place for children living in temporary housing. Finally, they commented that the proposed building entrance adjacent to the existing Rita Bright Community Center would successfully mediate the topography and provide a transition from public space to the new residential building, and they advised that the narrow courtyard entrance between the two wings would benefit from a similar treatment.
The Commission remains strongly supportive of the District of Columbia’s effort to create high-quality short-term family housing in the city’s eight wards, and looks forward to further review of this project. Please coordinate the next submission with the staff which, as always, is available to assist you.
/s/Thomas E. Luebke, FAIA
Keith A. Anderson, Acting Director
D.C. Department of General Services
2000 14th Street, NW, 8th Floor
Washington, DC 20009
cc: Ralph Cunningham, Cunningham Quill Architects