CFA 16/SEP/10-7


Mary E. Switzer Federal Building
330 C Street, SW
United States

U.S. General Services Administration
Mary E. Switzer Federal Building
Landscaping and perimeter security
Review Type
Revised concept
Previous Review


Dear Mr. McGill:

In its meeting of 16 September, the Commission of Fine Arts reviewed a revised concept design for the landscaping and perimeter security barrier for the Mary E. Switzer Building at 330 C Street, SW. The Commission did not approve the proposal and requested a new concept submission with a clearer spatial idea and fewer unrelated elements.

Noting their impressions from their inspection of the building site prior to the meeting, the Commission members expressed appreciation for the aesthetically powerful architecture by Charles Klauder, who designed both the Switzer Building and the Wilbur J. Cohen Building on the north side of C Street; they suggested that the entire space between the two buildings be designed as a single comprehensive project. The Commission members criticized the proposed scheme as lacking an overall cohesive idea, presenting instead an incongruent assembly of elements that do not relate well to each other nor to the surrounding buildings. They also commented that the small scale of the multiple plaza spaces, plinths, and clumps of plantings would not be appropriate for the monumental character of this streetscape.

The Commission members again expressed support for GSA's initiative to transform the four-block area centered on Third and C Streets, SW, with a comprehensive design of streetscape, landscape, and perimeter security elements. The Commission looks forward to the review of a revised proposal that more successfully implements this initiative. As always, the staff is available to assist you with the next submission.


/s/Thomas E. Luebke, AIA

Michael McGill
Special Assistant for Regional Coordination
U.S. General Services Administration
301 7th Street, SW
Washington, DC 20407-0001

cc: Mark Banks, General Services Administration
Jeffrey V. Catts, HNTB