Dear Mr. Tuchmann:
In its meeting of 16 May, the Commission of Fine Arts reviewed a concept design for exterior alterations and the addition of three floors to the existing Mills Building, an office building at 1700 Pennsylvania Avenue, NW (case number SL 19-152). The Commission approved the concept submission with the following recommendations for the development of the design.
The Commission members commended the design of the proposed overcladding of the existing precast concrete facades, finding that the modifications would improve the building’s scale and proportions in relation to the context; they also expressed appreciation for the proposed palette of materials and colors for the overcladding, particularly the ribbed terracotta panels. However, they recommended further study of the massing and design of the added floors, observing that these floors give the impression of a separate, unrelated building sitting on top of the existing building mass; they recommended developing more nuanced details for the different facade conditions, and they suggested extending the material and color palette of the overcladding to these new floors.
The Commission looks forward to further review of this project. As always, the staff is available to assist you with the next submission.
/s/Thomas E. Luebke, FAIA
601 Thirteenth Street, NW, Suite 300 North
Washington, DC 20005
cc: Greg Zielinski, Gensler
Matthew Marcou, D.C. Public Space Committee