Federal Office Building #8 (Food and Drug Administration)
2nd and C streets, SW
Dear Mr. McGill:
During its last meeting of 20 October, the Commission reviewed the concept designs for the modernization and renovation of Federal Office Building #8 located at 2nd and C Streets, SW. The concept for the landscape plan for the plaza and streetscape was also reviewed. While the members had no objection to the conversion to modern office space and supported a new design treatment of the building's facades and site perimeter, they concluded that the design concept was not yet sufficiently resolved to warrant approval.
The Commission members agreed that the project offers an opportunity to break up the monotony of the existing facade by modifying the building envelope. However, they commented that the numerous design gestures proposed were chaotic and should be developed with a greater sense of coherence and simplicity, drawing upon the patterns of the existing facades. They also questioned whether the slight outward extensions of the building skin would prove to be cost-effective in later stages of the design process. The landscape design, with its great variety of paving patterns and seat walls on the north plaza, should reflect a similar approach as the building design.
The Commission encourages the GSA's interest in pursuing an environmentally sensitive design by converting the existing structure to a ìgreenî building with the implementation of new technology and strategies for daylighting interior spaces. However, they recommended that the GSA and its design team consider more carefully whether the particular gestures of solar panels and rooftop screen walls are the expression of the overall energy-efficient design or serve primarily a visual and decorative purpose.
The Commission looks forward to the review of a revised concept submission, as well as material samples for the selection of glass and the solar panels as the design develops. As always, the staff is available to assist you.
/s/Thomas Luebke, AIA
Michael McGill, Special Assistant for Regional Coordination
General Services Administration
Public Buildings Service, NCR, Portfolio Management Division
7th & D Streets, SW - Room 7600
Washington, DC 20407
cc: Joseph A. Boggs, FAIA, Boggs & Partners Architects
Dennis Carmichael, FASLA, EDAW