10th Street Promenade, SW
Dear Mr. Jacobs:
In the last meeting of 19 January, the Commission of Fine Arts reviewed the revised concept for the National Children's Museum entrance at L'Enfant Plaza on the 10th Street Promenade (SL 06-038) and discussed the outstanding issues concerning the new northeast and southeast air-rights buildings. While the Commission was generally supportive of the direction of the entrance pavilion, the members recommended that the material treatment of the sculptural perimeter screen requires additional study. While the use of color may be appropriate, the Commission suggested the use of materials which are easy to maintain or even improve with age.
With regard to the massing of the proposed northeast and southeast air-rights buildings and their relationship with the adjacent Department of Housing and Urban Development building by Marcel Breuer, the Commission members supported the decision to relocate the plaza edge at the building line on the east side of the buildings. After further review of the site, Commission members stated their strong preference to set back the new buildings further from the north and south frontages than is currently proposed in order to retain visibility of the iconic Breuer building. However, given the previous concept approval, the Commission members acknowledged the difficulty in achieving the desired sight lines at this point in the design process and suggested that superficial changes to the building facades would only draw greater attention to the uncomfortable relationship between the existing and proposed buildings.
The Commission looks forward to further review of the redevelopment of L'Enfant Plaza and the National Children's Museum project. As always, the Commission staff is available should you require further guidance.
/s/Thomas Luebke, AIA
Benjamin R. Jacobs
JBG/L'Enfant Plaza c/o the JBG Companies
4445 Willard Avenue, Suite 400
Chevy Chase, MD 20815-3690
cc: Fred Clarke, Pelli Clarke Pelli Architects