300 7th Street, SW
Dear Mr. Wiedefeld:
In its meeting of 19 September, the Commission of Fine Arts reviewed a revised concept design for the renovation of and additions to an existing nine-story office building at 300 Seventh Street, SW, to be the new consolidated headquarters of the Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority (WMATA). The Commission provided the following comments for the refinement of the concept.
The Commission members endorsed the revisions to the landscape design and the building’s base, which they said would convey a strong identity and civic presence; they also expressed support for the metal exterior cladding proposed for the volumes of the vertical cores. While acknowledging the responsiveness of the office tower design to the Commission’s previous comments, they found that the revised curtainwall, which would substitute the previously proposed random pattern of vertical fins with a more neutral grid, lacks the architectural character and design conviction now seen in the base. They suggested exploration of an approach that would bring more texture and boldness to the glass facades of the office tower, expressing a preference for the use of vertical projecting fins.
The Commission looks forward to further review of refinements to the concept design. As always, the staff is available to assist you.
/s/Thomas E. Luebke, FAIA
Paul J. Wiedefeld, General Manager and CEO
Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority
600 Fifth Street, NW
Washington, DC 20001
cc: Brian Pilot, Studios Architecture