500 L'Enfant Plaza, SW
Dear Mr. Cinkala:
In its meeting of 20 October, the Commission of Fine Arts reviewed a concept design for a new office building at 500 L'Enfant Plaza, SW (case number SL 11-164), to be located at the southeastern corner of the L'Enfant Plaza complex. The Commission approved the general concept for the building with recommendations for further development of its architectural expression.
In their discussion, the Commission members questioned the relationship of the new building to the iconic Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) headquarters designed by Marcel Breuer immediately to the east of the proposed building site. They commented that the proposed curving glass facade does not resolve the issues raised by the close adjacency to the HUD building and suggested that a more deliberate edge would be a better solution. In general, the Commission members expressed concern that the building as proposed seems to be a composition of unintegrated elements; instead, they suggested that the design of the building be more bold in its conception, avoiding the approach of shaping the building as a somewhat conventional solution to a checklist of site conditions.
The Commission looks forward to the review of a revised concept proposal. As always, the staff is available to assist you with the next submission.
/s/Thomas E. Luebke, FAIA
The JBG Companies
4445 Willard Avenue, Suite 400
Chevy Chase, MD 20815
cc: Bryan Cannon, ZGF Architects
Jennifer Steingasser, D.C. Office of Planning