Monday, June 8, 2020
ARC Members attending: Christine Hobbs, Anne Weir, Danny Ince, Phil Eagleburger, Tina Mead, Ron Ngiam and Lois Orr. Also attending were Rick Nash, President, Cleveland Park Historical Society and Camilla Carpenter, Executive Director, Cleveland Park Historical Society.
This meeting was held via Zoom.
Washington International School, Tregaron Campus
Architects: Shalom Barnes and Perkins + Will ; Michael Vergason Landscape Architects
The Washington International School, Tregaron Campus, is located between Macomb Street and Klingle Road in the middle of what is now the Tregaron Conservancy and what was once a larger estate. A Georgian Revival mansion is the center piece of the school and of the property. In order to create additional class room space, science labs, and dining facilities, among other projects, the school is proposing to move the “Dacha” and construct an L-shaped addition between the mansion and the existing soccer field. Approximately 70% of the new addition will be underground. This proposal was first presented to the ARC in November, 2019 and subsequently in January, 2020.
In November and in January, the ARC had the following comments on the proposal:
- The proposal solves the issue of the view from Macomb Street.
- The ARC has no objection to moving the Dacha.
- However, the ARC has concerns about the height and massing of the new structure as it appears to encroach, even overwhelm the Mansion. The feasibility of removing the top most 5,000 foot structure on the proposed new building or of pushing it back from its current location should be explored.
- The ARC suggests that the materials be simplified including the metal serpentine wall with fins.
- The ARC is particularly concerned about the northeast corner of the proposal building where it is so visible as approaching the Mansion. Attenuating this corner would improve the approach to the school.
The January proposal differed little from the November presentation and did not address the comments as noted above, and in reviewing the January proposal, the ARC remained concerned about the impact of the new structure on the Mansion. While some neighbors thought the school should not expand at all or expand only underground, the ARC recognized that the Washington International School should be able to evolve and improve even on a site that is so physically constrained.
The June, 2020 presentation has substantially addressed the issues that were raised in November, 2019 and January, 2020.
The design has been modified in the following manner:
- There has been a reduction in the size and height of the north side of the proposed building by six and half feet. This has been accomplished by sinking the building further into the hill side and by reducing the interior ceiling height.
- The north end of the structure has been pulled back away from the Mansion and the Academic Walkway. The curvilinear element has been reduced in size and the materials have changed. Rather than a metal element, this element will be a reddish brown slate. More room has been created between the Mansion and the new pavilion and the Greenhouse becomes more visible.
- The elevation of the Four Square Garden has been dropped by three and half feet and landscaping has been added to the basketball court area.
- Brick paving will be added throughout the campus area and additional pathways created in the Conservancy.
- The final placement of the Dacha has not been determined.
The issues that the ARC previously identified have largely been addressed. However, the ARC does suggest that the northeast corner of the new structure receive additional refinement.
Again, there was mention of constructing a gatehouse on Macomb Street during the discussion. The ARC has not reviewed this proposal but will need to do so in the future.
The motion passed 7-0.