Dear Mr. Evey:
During its meeting of 19 June, the Commission reviewed the designs for the Pentagon secure access lane to the Remote Delivery Facility. While it is regrettable that the current times mandate such measures to protect the Pentagon and its occupants, the Commission completely understands the necessity for improved perimeter security at our government's facilities. The members also recognize the unfortunate adjacency of the lane to the proposed memorial to the victims of September 11th and the constrained space at the northwest side of the Pentagon. However, this does not alter our desire to improve the city's appearance, already compromised by many unsightly and poorly thought-out installations.
In this regard, the members are concerned with the configuration of the blast wall along the northern portion of the access lane. First, every effort should be made to match exactly the finish and texture of the new Remote Delivery Facility-this wall should not look like a typical highway sound barrier. Secondly, as we stated in our previous letter of 6 December 2002, the design of the wall should be given additional study to find ways to reduce its apparent visual height. Any strategy that could relieve the wall's verticality, including small ledges or shelves or horizontal setbacks for plants, should be incorporated into the western face of the wall. This would allow additional plants to grow in the wall, softening its face and alleviating the massive flat plane of the wall that appears overly bulky.
In addition, the members suggested that the tree choice for lining the access lane and the pedestrian/bike path should be a single, columnuar-shaped species. This would better fit the narrow space between the highway, pathway, access lane and blast wall. The landscaping along the access lane should be carefully coordinated with that of the proposed memorial to the victims of September 11th.
The submission was approved, with the understanding that modifications will be made in response to the above recommendations. Please forward the final details and landscape plan when ready. As always, the staff is available should you or the design team require guidance.
David M. Childs, FAlA
Mr. Walker Lee Evey
Pentagon Renovation Office
100 Boundary Channel Drive
Arlington, VA 22202-3712
cc: Michael Yopp, Project Coordinator, Pentagon Renovation Office
Stacie Candrell, Architectural Program, Pentagon Renovation Office