CFA 17/NOV/11-3

Location

University of the District of Columbia
4200 Connecticut Avenue at Van Ness Street, NW
United States

Owner
University of the District of Columbia
Property
Van Ness Campus
Description
New student center
Review Type
Final
Previous Review

Letter

Dear Ms. Jumper:

In its meeting of 17 November, the Commission of Fine Arts reviewed the University of the District of Columbia's final design for a new student center at the Van Ness Campus. The Commission approved the final submission conditional upon the staff's review and approval of the final construction documents to address the following comments.

The Commission members expressed appreciation for the improvement of the design since the previous submission, and continued to recommend that the new student center building appear as an integral part of the existing campus. To achieve this goal of unity, they suggested that the colors selected for the building's exterior materials should present a more subtle difference with the existing campus palette than what is proposed. Likewise, they recommended that more transparency through the entrance to the upper plaza of the campus would create more visual continuity; they suggested that some of the exterior panels at the third–level terrace on the northern portion of the building be removed to increase the openness of the terrace. They also recommended that the highly visible soffit of the entrance to the upper plaza be articulated with a more deliberate treatment, commenting that the entrance as proposed appears to be merely a void in the enclosure system.

At the street level, the Commission members recommended refining several details along Connecticut Avenue. They suggested adding a planting strip along the base of the outer wall of the staircase to soften the appearance of this large masonry surface. They also recommended reducing the size of the university logo and sign facing Connecticut Avenue, commenting that the proposal would be over–scaled for this pedestrian–oriented location.

The staff looks forward to working with the project team in the review and approval of the final design revisions to address the Commission's recommendations.

Sincerely,

/s/Thomas E. Luebke, FAIA
Secretary

Barbara Jumper
Associate Vice President for Facilities Management and Real Estate
The University of the District of Columbia
4200 Connecticut Avenue, NW, Building 39, Room 301–P
Washington, DC 20008

cc: Michael Marshall, Marshall Moya Design
Roland G. Lemke, Cannon Design