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Carter's View

Madison Equities is planning a very striking, 12-story, residential condominium building at 447 West 18th Street that will have a very complex, angled facade clad with blue-tinted glass.

The $59 million project will have 47 apartments and groundbreaking is scheduled for February with occupancy planned for early 2007.

Audrey Matlock is the architect.

The mid-block building will replace two warehouses.

There will be 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, each with their own street-level entrance, that will have about 2,000 square feet each.

The duplex artist's apartments will have gallery spaces illuminated by translucent skylights that form an extension of the sidewalk, according to Robert Gladstone, the principal of Madison Equities.

Mr. Gladsone has developed some of the city's more interesting projects such as the Galleria at 115 West 57th Street, the concave office tower on the northwest corner of 57th Street and Lexington Avenue and the handsome residential tower on the southeast corner of Second Avenue and 93rd Street. Madison Equities also is building a 15-story mixed-use building at 410 East 92nd Street that will house a 226-room Courtyard by Marriott Hotel and about 40,000 square feet of commercial space when completed in January and a 32-story rental apartment tower at 410 East 92nd Street with JBC Fund I, which is managed by the John Buck Company of Chicago and was recently completed.

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

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

Ms. Matlock said that the facade will be blue glass, be angled horizontally in zig-zag fashion and will have openable windows. She said that details have not yet been finalized, but the openable windows are likely to project outward parallel to the facade, letting air in, and out, on all four sides, an approach that would be new to New York. Each floor has three bands of windows, Ms. Matlock said, and she referred to the openable windows as visual "dashes" on the facade.

The angled facade does not protrude behind the building line but has a three-foot depth, according to Ms. Matlock, who added that the angles are irregular.

A caption in an article by Dennis Hevesi in yesterday's New York Times about the project described the facade as "vitreous splendor."

Mr. Gladstone said he has known Ms. Matlock for more than a decade and that this project recently was declared by the best "unbuilt" building by the Long Island Chapter of the American Institute of Architects. Ms. Matlock, who once worked for Skidmore, Owings & Merrill, has an office in Manhattan as well as one in Sag Harbor, Long Island.

The building, which promises to be one of the most exciting architectural of the new crop of residential projects, is setback at the eighth floor to conform with zoning regulations. The building is "as-of-right," that is, it conforms to building and zoning regulations and does not require public review.

The rear of the building, Ms. Matlock said, will contain some balconies and terraces on the upper floors and will be highlighted by horizontal "rainscreens."
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Architecture Critic Carter Horsley Since 1997, Carter B. Horsley has been the editorial director of CityRealty. He began his journalistic career at The New York Times in 1961 where he spent 26 years as a reporter specializing in real estate & architectural news. In 1987, he became the architecture critic and real estate editor of The New York Post.