National Zoological Park
Dear Mr. Monfort:
In its meeting of 21 May, the Commission of Fine Arts reviewed and approved the final design for the seal and sea lion exhibit and support facilities at the National Zoo, with comments regarding the treatment of the naturalistic landscape. The Commission members expressed appreciation for the further simplification of the building form, which they characterized as much improved, and supported the high quality of materials as essential for the success of the design.
Regarding the site design, the Commission members recommended using natural stone as much as possible to ensure the exhibit looks authentic. They suggested that the designers pay careful attention to the articulation of the transition from the human environment to that of the simulated animal habitat, recommending that the focus should remain on the animals and not on ancillary design features around the perimeter, such as the proposed freestanding stone arch.
The Commission's action includes approval of the holding facility in a non-public area of the zoo. As always, the staff is available to assist you with future submissions.
/s/Thomas E. Luebke, AIA
Steven L. Monfort, Acting Director
Smithsonian National Zoological Park
P.O. Box 37012, MRC 5508
Washington, DC 20013-7012
cc: Harry Rombach, Smithsonian Institution
Alyson Steele, AIA, Quinn Evans Architects