Tuesday, September 23, 2008


Back around the turn of the last century, a certain style of new urban design began popping up in major cities. DC received it's fair share of this design craze as well. One bar in particular was Dragonfly, which is located just below the intersection of 18th St. and Connecticut Ave. Plenty of high gloss surfaces, lots of chrome and synthetic plastics with a good does of super-graphics summed up the "Y2K" stark white and glossy trend at that time. While back then the place was exciting and new, it's aesthetic grew dated quickly. It's recent replacement is called Current. It too gives a nod to the former life the space had with more high gloss surfaces and gimmicky light elements, this time in the form of see-through ceiling/floor water features. The space has a new combination of warmer natural materials against the plastic synthetics. Upon entry, a grand open riser staircase clutters the streetfront space. Above on the ceiling wave-like undulating glossy forms seem like an interesting idea to add some movement to the space but is unsuccessful. Their failure stems from the groupings being disjointed. The flow is broken up by the ugly and pointless (yet probably very expensive) ceiling/ floor water features which glow different colors and are filled with water jets. I understand how they wanted to play with the theme but they just don't work for the space. An entire ceiling of the glossy waves would have been a more successful and cohesive gesture. The bar surfaces are a wavelike design of alternating dark wood and a translucent poly-resin material that glows. This is a nice piece but there is a bit too much of in throughout the space. The dining tables and chairs feel very heavy and awkward in a space where the theme is supposed to be that of light and flowing currents. Overall it is a nice addition to the trendy bar/lounge scene in the city but in its newness, it already feels as though it has been dated by the year 2000.

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