CFA 20/OCT/16-3


10th Street & Constitution Avenue, NW
Washington, DC
United States

Smithsonian Institution
National Museum of Natural History
Access ramps at south entrance (Madison Drive)
Review Type
Revised concept
Previous Review


Dear Dr. Johnson:

In its meeting of 20 October, the Commission of Fine Arts reviewed a revised concept design for modifications to the Mall entrance of the National Museum of Natural History of the Smithsonian Institution on Madison Drive, NW. The Commission approved the concept with the following comments.

The Commission members expressed general support for the configuration and operation of the proposed access ramps, commenting favorably on what they characterized as an elegant design. However, they made several suggestions for refining the design of the figural metal railing panels along the ramps, observing that the proposed punched fabrication method would make the naturalistic grass pattern appear unsuitably flat. They recommended further study of this element, possibly developing a less figural design that is more appropriate with the likely fabrication method.

The Commission looks forward to reviewing a final submission that addresses these issues of fabrication and refinement of details. As always, the staff is available to assist you.


/s/Thomas E. Luebke, FAIA

Dr. Kirk Johnson, Director
National Museum of Natural History
Smithsonian Institution
MRC 106, P.O. Box 37012
Washington, DC 20013-7012

cc: Alyson Steele, Quinn Evans Architects
Claire Bedat, AECOM