E.L. Haynes Public Charter School (former Clark Elementary School)
4501 Kansas Avenue, NW
Dear Mr. Hanlon:
In its meeting of 17 March, the Commission of Fine Arts reviewed the concept design for an addition to and the renovation of the E.L. Haynes Public Charter School (formerly the Clark Elementary School) at 4501 Kansas Avenue, NW. The Commission did not take an action on the proposal, requesting additional design development and a revised submission.
While the Commission members supported the intention to enlarge the school and commented favorably on the general planning for the new program, they expressed concern about the extreme contrast of the form and materials of the proposed addition with those of the existing school building. Instead, they recommended that the addition be designed to be more sympathetic with the older building. They commented that the gesture of the addition's roof rising up and over the existing building uncomfortably overwhelms the original building, having the visual effect of devaluing it; theyrecommended that the overhanging roof be either greatly reduced or eliminated, allowing more emphasis on the entrance in the connector below. They also suggested the consideration of a new facade treatment for the existing building, observing that the proposed addition has received most of the design team's attention.
The Commission members commented on the positive qualities of the site design—such as the mounded entrance plaza at the rear of the addition—but found a lack of clarity in the proposed reconfiguration of the school's grounds. They requested further study of how people would arrive at the multiple entrances, recommending that the drop-off areas and walks to entrances be reconsidered to improve the safety and directness of arrival for students, staff, and visitors.
The Commission looks forward to the review of a revised proposal. As always, the staff is available to assist you with the next submission.
/s/Thomas E. Luebke, FAIA
Brian Hanlon, Interim Director
D.C. Department of Real Estate Services
2000 14th Street, NW, Eighth Floor
Washington, DC 20009
cc: Salo Levinas, Shinberg Levinas Architectural Design