3320 Idaho Avenue, NW
Dear Ms. Gillis:
In its meeting of 17 May, the Commission of Fine Arts reviewed the final design for the proposed Ward 3 Short-Term Family Housing facility, to be located at 3320 Idaho Avenue, NW. The Commission approved the design, subject to the following comments, and delegated completion of the final review to the staff.
The Commission members expressed appreciation for the clear presentation and the responsiveness to their previous advice, including the refinements to the building and site design. They continued to question the logic of differentiating the material and color of the building’s north and south sides, commenting that this creates a binary appearance that may not break down the scale of the building as intended. Consistent with their previous advice, they suggested less contrast and more interweaving of the exterior building materials. To relieve the institutional appearance of the fenestration on the southern portion of the building’s street-facing east facade, they suggesting altering the proportions of the window openings and incorporating detailing proposed for the building’s other windows. For the landscape, they expressed strong support for locating the deck adjacent to the play area, and recommended studying the threshold between these two elements to improve its functioning as a social space, possibly by widening the stairs to provide seating. Regarding the planting plan, they recommended replacing the specified eastern red cedars with shade-tolerant trees such as evergreen magnolias; they also encouraged locating the trees and other plantings in a less rigid configuration within the bioretention area.
Please coordinate the review of the final material samples and other design refinements with the staff which, as always, is available to assist you.
/s/Thomas E. Luebke, FAIA
Greer Johnson Gillis, Director
D.C. Department of General Services
2000 14th Street, NW, 8th Floor
Washington, DC 20009
cc: Joe McNamara, Ayers Saint Gross
Laura Zeilinger, D.C. Department of Human Services
Eric Shaw, D.C. Office of Planning