CFA 17/NOV/05-1


United States Institute of Peace
23rd Street and Constitution Avenue, NW
United States

U.S. Institute of Peace
Headquarters Building
New headquarters building
Review Type
Revised concept
Previous Review


Dear Mr. Solomon:

In the last meeting of 17 November, the Commission of Fine Arts reviewed and approved the revised concept for a new headquarters building for the United States Institute of Peace, to be located at the corner of 23rd Street and Constitution Avenue, NW. The members were pleased with architect Moshe Safdie's proposal and thought the design would produce a bold and dynamic building. As the design continues to develop, the members suggested that extra care and study be given to the configuration of the public entry plaza and garden at the southern part of the site, due to the need to buffer these areas from the busy intersection of 23rd Street and Constitution Avenue and the adjacent vehicular ramp leading to the Theodore Roosevelt Memorial Bridge.

The members also expressed concern about the amount of light that would emanate at night from the building's extensive glazing and its translucent roof. They recommended that light levels within and around the structure be carefully analyzed. The building's illumination should be controlled so that it produces a soft and subtle glow that will not outshine the nearby monuments on the National Mall, particularly the Lincoln Memorial.

The Commission looks forward to the review of the design as it continues to develop, including any provisions for perimeter security and the selection of building and landscape materials. As always, the Commission staff is available should you or your design team require additional guidance.



Thomas Luebke, AIA

Richard H. Solomon, President
United States Institute of Peace
1200 17th Street, NW
Washington, D.C. 20036-3011

cc: Charles E. Nelson, VP, USIP Moshe Safdie, FAIA, Moshe Safdie & Associates Inc.