7th and L Streets, SE
Dear Lt. Cinq Mars:
In its public meeting of 17 November conducted by videoconference, the Commission of Fine Arts reviewed a concept submission for a new housing and support facility at the Marine Barracks Washington Annex, located at 7th and L Streets, SE. The Commission members present did not take an action, instead providing the following comments for the development of the concept design.
The Commission members expressed appreciation for the presentation, acknowledging that the proposed site for the new building is highly constrained by multiple setback requirements and established agreements—which include respecting the view corridors of the historic rights-of-way of 6th and K Streets, SE, minimum security standoff distances, a 25-foot offset from the lower levels of the adjacent existing Building 25, and below-ground utilities. However, they suggested reconsideration of several elements of the building’s design to improve both its civic presence and the daily experience of the enlisted personnel who would live there.
Citing an apparent lack of a comprehensive design framework for the Annex property, the Commission members recommended that the new building be conceptualized as an addition to Building 25 that creates a harmonious, campus-like experience for residents. Accordingly, they advised further study of the new building’s proportions and physical connections to the existing facility, as well as of the quality of the space between the old and new buildings to ensure adequate access to light and air. For the exterior generally, they recommended further study of the proposed architectural embellishments, such as the applied pediment at the entrance and the substantial corner tower. For the next submission, they requested additional renderings to better document both the existing and the proposed facilities, which would be highly visible from the elevated highway to the north and from the surrounding area.
As a quorum was not present for the review, these comments and recommendations will be placed on the administrative agenda for confirmation at the Commission's next meeting. Please consult on the development of the concept design with the staff which, as always, is available to assist you.
/s/Thomas E. Luebke, FAIA
Lt. Alexander Cinq Mars
Public Works Officer
Marine Barracks Washington
8th and I Streets, SE
Washington, DC 20390-5000
cc: Julie Darsie, Naval Facilities Engineering Systems Command