MacDill Boulevard and South Capitol Street, SW
Dear Commander Benson:
In its meeting of 20 November, the Commission of Fine Arts reviewed an initial proposal submitted by the U.S. Department of the Navy for a large-scale installation of solar panels at Joint Base Anacostia-Bolling in Southwest Washington. The Commission commended the Navy for the scope and ambition of the undertaking and expressed support for the general goals of the project.
The Commission members observed that the installation of solar panels at this scale could be a successful model for future installations if careful attention is paid now to siting and design. They recommended that the design for the installation celebrate the technological aspect of the undertaking, while also giving priority to the shaping of civic spaces such as roads, pathways, and parks, as well as attention to the transitions between these spaces. Acknowledging that the Navy had not yet determined which of the potential locations on the base would be necessary to meet the energy goals for the project, they particularly supported locations at parking lots, citing successful examples of similar installations at airports. Given the promise of this project as a prototype for many military locations, they emphasized the importance of a strong design process, which may be difficult to achieve through the intended design-build procurement process.
For the next review, the Commission requested the presentation of a site-specific concept design for each of the proposed installations. As always, the staff is available to assist you with the next submission.
/s/Thomas E. Luebke, FAIA
LCDR Keith Benson
Washington Navy Yard
1314 Harwood Street, SE
Washington, DC 20374-5018
cc: Peter May, National Park Service