CFA 21/MAY/09-8


Washington Highlands Neighborhood Library
115 Atlantic Street, SW
United States

D.C. Public Library
Washington Highlands Neighborhood Library
New replacement building
Review Type
Revised concept
Previous Review


Dear Ms. Cooper:

In its meeting of 21 May, the Commission of Fine Arts reviewed and approved the revised concept design for the Washington Highlands Neighborhood Library at 115 Atlantic Street, SW.

The Commission members commented that it is appropriate for the library to have the appearance of a civic building distinct from the residential context of the neighborhood. They expressed support for the improvements from the previous submission, including revisions to the site design. While noting the integration of the on-site parking area with the overall landscape concept, they suggested consideration of eliminating on-site parking altogether, as advocated by a community group; this modification would allow the landscape treatment of the site to extend to the curb line.

Concerning the architectural treatment of the building, the Commission members expressed their continued concern that the entrance area beneath the pavilions would be unpleasantly dark, given the large size of the pavilion supports and the area's northern orientation. They also recommended that the geometric treatment of the pavilion surfaces be explored further, such as by expressing the faceted pattern in three dimensions or using slightly varied colors to suggest depth in the surface.

The Commission members expressed overall support for the high quality of design in the D.C. Public Library's recent program of branch library construction, recommending that the construction budgets be sufficient to allow retention of the special design features and materials that distinguish the proposals.

The Commission looks forward to review of the final design, including material samples. As always, the staff is available to assist you.


/s/Thomas E. Luebke, AIA

Ginnie Cooper, Chief Librarian
District of Columbia Public Library
901 G Street, NW
Washington, DC 20001

cc: David Adjaye, Adjaye Associates