601 D Street, NW
Dear Mr. Cowasjee:
In its meeting of 15 November, the Commission of Fine Arts reviewed a concept design for the replacement of building facades, the addition of an eleventh floor, and other modifications to an existing ten-story office building at 601 D Street, NW (case number SL 19-042). The Commission approved the concept submission with the following comments.
Noting that the proposed replacement of the existing masonry building enclosure with a glass curtainwall system will result in a change in architectural character for this important site, the Commission members found the design of the new facades—featuring full-story glass panels with copper-colored mullions—to be strong, rich, and elegant. They expressed appreciation for the subtle manipulation of the planes of glass to create a lively and differentiated reflectivity across the facades, for the commitment to high-quality materials, and for the inclusion of two-story spaces and lightwells at the ground floor. They recommended careful attention to the detailing of the facades, in particular at the base of the building where it will be most visible to pedestrians. In their support for the inclusion of a bench at the building’s base along D Street, they commented that the proposed scalloped top surface is ungenerous to those who would use the bench, and recommended that it have a flat top surface. For the public-space perimeter of the site, they recommended that the soils for the street trees be improved and the soil volume increased to ensure the long-term viability of these trees.
The Commission looks forward to further review of this project. As always, the staff is available to assist you with the development of the design.
/s/Thomas E. Luebke, FAIA
Rustom Cowasjee, Managing Director
1875 Eye Street, NW, Suite 1200
Washington, DC 20006
cc: Joey Shimoda, Shimoda Design Group