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Chelsea Modern, 447 West 18th Street

Between Ninth Avenue & Tenth Avenue

Carter Horsley
Reviewed by Carter Horsley
Carter Horsley Carter B. Horsley, a former journalist for The New York Times, The International Herald Tribune and The New York Post. Mr. Horsley is also the editorial director of CityRealty.com.
 

Chelsea Modern, a very striking, 12-story residential condominium building at 447 West 18th Street, was built in 2009 by Madison Equities, which is headed by Robert Gladstone.

The 47-unit structure was designed by Audrey Matlock and has a very unusual form with a complex, angled façade on 18th Street.

It has many windows that open outwards parallel to the façade, letting air in and out on all four sides of the window when open.

Bottom Line

This extremely attractive, blue-tinted, mid-rise apartment building has a horizontally angled façade that conjures the occasional little waves in the nearby Hudson River. 

The building is very close to some of Chelsea’s most celebrated new buildings such as Frank O. Gehry’s IAC Building and Jean Nouvel’s 100 Eleventh Avenue, both of which are located at the intersection of West Street and 19th Street.  Chelsea Modern is also close to Chelsea Piers and the High Line Elevated Park and many art galleries and restaurants.

Description

The façade is a deep-blue glass and is angled horizontally in a zigzag manner.

Each floor has three bands of windows and Ms. Matlock said she referred to the openable windows as visual "dashes."

Chelsea Modern has four duplex apartments with their own street-level entrances and gallery spaces illuminated by translucent skylights that form an extension of the sidewalk.

Ms. Matlock said the translucent skylights are laminated glass in five-foot-square sections and that they are adjacent to the indented lobby and duplex apartment entrances that are tucked five feet behind the project’s building line.

The building’s rear has some balconies and terraces on the upper floors and is highlighted by horizontal “rain-screens.”

Amenities

Chelsea Modern has a 24-hour doorman/concierge, a fitness center, a large garden with fountain, cold storage, a bicycle room and a roof deck. 

Apartments

Each apartment has its own washer and dryer and the windows have roll-down blinds.

The apartments have enclosed bedrooms but many have sliding walls to make spaces more flexible.

Kitchens have Sub-Zero refrigerators and Miele appliances and bathrooms have a Philippe Stack soaking tub, walnut vanities, marble counters and French limestone floors.

One of the three-bedroom penthouses has an angled front terrace of 880 square feet and a 430-square-foot rear terrace.  The entrance hall opens on the dining room and kitchen.  There are bedrooms on either side of the living room that opens onto the front terrace and the master bedroom opens onto the rear terrace.

The building has 7 one-bedroom apartments of about 800 square feet each, 28 two-bedroom units ranging in size from 1,300 to 1,500 square feet, 8 three-bedroom units ranging in size from 1,700 to 1,830 square feet and 4 duplex artist’s one-bedroom apartments that will have about 2,000 square feet each. 

The apartments have enclosed bedrooms but many have sliding walls to make spaces more flexible.

History

The mid-block building replaced two warehouses.

Madison Equities has developed some of the city’s more interesting projects such as the Galleria at 117 East 57th Street, which is the concave office tower on the northwest corner of 57th Street and Lexington Avenue, and the handsome Waterford at 300 East 93rd Street at the southeast corner of Second Avenue. 

The building has elicited some amusing comments. 

At wirednewyork.com, a poster called Zippy the Chimp, noting the building’s unusual fenestration that opens parallel to the building’s façade, remarked July 2, 2008 that he "can't see living in a place where you can't lean out the window - and yell at someone in the street."

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