CFA 19/MAY/16-5


Bounded by 13th Street, Quincy Street, and Kansas Avenue, NW
Washington, DC
United States

D.C. Department of General Services
Triangular park (Reservation 323E)
New landscape to create a "Zen Garden" park
Review Type


Dear Mr. Weaver:

In its meeting of 19 May, the Commission of Fine Arts reviewed a concept submission for a new park landscape in a triangular reservation bounded by 13th Street, Quincy Street, and Kansas Avenue, NW. While supporting the opportunity to improve a small neighborhood park, the Commission did not take an action and requested the submission of a revised concept.

The Commission members welcomed the wider initiative to transform small reservations within the city grid as neighborhood destinations and places of respite. However, they questioned how the intended “Zen” theme for this site informs the proposed design, and they recommended development of a clearer design concept: the creation of a field, a figure within a space, a composition of organically shaped walkways, or some other typology. They recommended finding a scale appropriate for a small reservation, such as defining the diameter of the proposed circular gathering space in reference to specific activities. They also encouraged studying more carefully the actual slope of the site in establishing the connection of the proposed walks to the site’s points of entry. They questioned the durability of the proposed palette of shrubs and perennials; instead, they advised using the tree canopy to define spatial enclosures. Noting that this park will be frequented by children, they emphasized the importance of designing a landscape that will maintain views to the surroundings while encouraging activities to remain safely within park boundaries.

The Commission looks forward to the submission of a revised concept design. As always, the staff is available to assist you.


/s/Thomas E. Luebke, FAIA

Christopher Weaver, Director
D.C. Department of General Services
2000 14th Street, NW, 8th Floor
Washington, DC 20009

cc: Brent Sisco, D.C. Department of Parks and Recreation
Jeff Lee, Lee and Associates