SL 15-166


1331 Maryland Avenue, SW
United States

Portals V
New residential building
Review Type
Previous Review


Dear Mr. Grigg:

In its meeting of 17 September, the Commission of Fine Arts reviewed a revised concept submission for Portals V, a new residential building to be located at 1331 Maryland Avenue, SW (case number SL 15-166). The Commission approved the submission with several recommendations for the development of the final design.

In their discussion of the landscape design, the Commission members questioned the scale of the proposed landscape materials in relation to the immense size of the building and to the elevated streets surrounding the site. They recommended that the trees selected for planting around the site be as large as possible, and they suggested consideration of plantings, such as climbing vines, to soften and punctuate the great expanse of the building facades at the balconies and the lower levels facing the service drive. In addition, they recommended adjusting the planting plan at the proposed bioretention area south of the building to be wilder in character and to create year-round interest, such as by adding shrubs throughout rather than only at the perimeter as presented.

Finally, the Commission members expressed frustration with the latest request to allow a further increase in the height of the building at two locations; they approved the height increase, but cautioned strongly against any future such requests.

The Commission looks forward to review of the next submission. As always, the staff is available to assist you.


/s/Thomas E. Luebke, FAIA

Steven Grigg
Republic Properties
1280 Maryland Avenue, SW, Suite 280
Washington, DC 20007

cc: Jeff Lee, Lee and Associates
George Dove, WDG Architects
Paul Whalen, Robert A.M. Stern Architects