Our design project Mission Navy Yard officially opened today, Monday, July 23, 2018! We sat down with Andrea Paton-Ash, one of the lead designers on the project, for a behind-the-scenes look at the restaurant’s lively design that packs a southwestern punch. Now, who’s up for margaritas?
What was Streetsense’s role on the project?
Streetsense is Mission Navy Yard’s design and architect agency of record. Our team handled this project from conception all the way through development.
What is your favorite design detail at Mission Navy Yard?
The private dining room is an incredibly special place. We installed a hardwood ceiling that plays nicely with the archways and breeze blocks that welcome guests into the space. When you walk into this room, you can really feel the impact of all of the unique touches that build on the traditional essence of the restaurant.
How is Mission Navy Yard different from its sister restaurant Mission Dupont Circle?
The first location in Dupont was an existing building that was repurposed for Mission, so the Navy Yard location is the brand’s first full-service restaurant designed from scratch. Designing the space from the ground up really represents the next step in the restaurant’s evolution, especially as it pertains to building out the Mission brand. While the Navy Yard neighborhood has its own look and feel, the client wanted to keep a similar theme between the two locations, but to also find a way to elevate the design thoughtfully. Carrying over aspects from the original space while making the new restaurant unique required us to really consider the design of each and every corner, in addition to designing the space’s statement features, like the second floor area that overlooks the downstairs atrium.
We drew a lot of inspiration from traditional Spanish style, while also keeping in mind some Southwestern elements that we knew we wanted incorporate. Softening the archways helped relax the experience, but we made sure to utilize other elements that definitely help keep the vibe festive and celebratory, like the colorful mosaic tiles in the stairs and Instagrammable wall murals.
What type of experience were you trying to create through the space’s design?
Our client wanted to make sure that Mission Navy Yard offered guests the flexibility to experience the restaurant as they wanted. To ensure this experience, designing a wide variety of spaces that can be used private parties was key. Guests can rent one of five private spaces, ranging from the 150-foot bar to occupying the entire restaurant for the night. In addition to making sure the restaurant could accommodate a variety of private parties, the main vision was to make the restaurant feel like home. With that in mind, the space was designed to cater to traditional hospitality offerings downstairs — which incorporates darker woods and greater scale — while an outdoor plaza allows diners to spill out into the street or to welcome new arrivals into the experience.
How is Streetsense’s approach to design differ from other design firms?
At Streetsense, we really care about providing our clients with a first-rate level of service that allows us to get to know them and anticipate their need. In that vein, we make our projects a personal process for both parties, so that we can offer our clients the tools to create spaces in their neighborhoods that don’t already exist. Being a DC-based company allows us the accessibility to make that process possible — we’re able to meet with clients in-person every week, so that we keep the process very hands-on.
To read more about our project, check out the piece written in Eater DC “Navy Yard’s New Mexican Bar Gets Its Own DC Brau Beer” by Tierney Plumb.