SL 15-104


900 L'Enfant Plaza, SW
Washington, DC
United States

D.C. Department of Consumer and Regulatory Affairs
L'Enfant Plaza
New building for the International Spy Museum and new office building
Review Type
Previous Review


Dear Mr. Cinkala:

In its meeting of 16 April, the Commission of Fine Arts reviewed a concept submission for a new mixed-use building within the central space of the L'Enfant Plaza complex, proposed to house the International Spy Museum and commercial office space (case number SL 15-104 at 900 L'Enfant Plaza, SW). The Commission endorsed the project with enthusiasm and approved the general concept, requesting further development of the design for a revised concept submission.

The Commission members welcomed the proposed relocation to L'Enfant Plaza of the International Spy Museum, a popular public destination that will contribute to the life of the 10th Street corridor, which is currently dominated by office use. They commended the project team on the planning and design of the building and site, expressing support for the concept of projecting the museum’s west facade into public space for this particular program and location. They raised several issues to consider as the project is developed, observing that the distances to the surrounding buildings—particularly to the East Building—seem compressed, and they recommended further study of the blank north elevation of the museum portion of the building. They also recommended further consideration of the balance between the expression of the colorful structural elements at the base of the building, suggesting that the museum itself should be the most expressive part of the design and should not be overwhelmed by other elements such as the colorful diagonals at the office building lobby.

The Commission looks forward to the review of a revised concept submission, which should include further development of the design and materials of the building envelope and the ground plane, as well as further study of the issues identified above. As always, the staff is available to assist you.


/s/Thomas E. Luebke, FAIA

Dean Cinkala
The JBG Companies
4445 Willard Avenue, Suite 400
Chevy Chase, MD 20815

cc: Milton Maltz, International Spy Museum
Ivan Harbour, Rogers Stirk Harbour + Partners
Jennifer Steingasser, D.C. Office of Planning