Department of Homeland Security Headquarters, St. Elizabeths West Campus
Dear Ms. Wright:
In its meeting of 21 July, the Commission of Fine Arts reviewed the concept design for the west access road on the St. Elizabeths West Campus to accommodate the future needs of the Department of Homeland Security headquarters currently under construction at this site. The Commission approved the proposal with several recommendations for further refinement and delegated the review of the final submission to the staff.
In considering the desirable parkway character for the access road, the Commission members recommended using larger trees in the landscape design and emphasized the importance of providing continuous planting beds to support root growth. They also recommended a lower height and closer spacing for the streetlights, commenting that the proposed height and spacing is more suggestive of highway conditions rather than the moderate speed of the proposed road's parkway setting. They supported the extension of the retaining walls above the road surface to serve as a vehicular barrier—rather than using a guardrail above a lower wall—as a simpler design solution that provides superior visual and acoustical screening of the road.
As delegated, the staff is available to assist you in review and approval of the final design.
/s/Thomas E. Luebke, FAIA
Mina Wright, Director
Office of Planning and Design Quality
U.S. General Services Administration
301 7th Street, SW
Washington, DC 20407–0001
cc: Bruno Carvalho, Carvalho + Good