By Carter B. Horsley
This 11-story, 10-unit residential
condominium at 459 West 18th Street, which is known as the Onyx, is just to the west of Chelsea
Modern, a larger residential condominium project at 447 West 18th
Street and its architects, Della Valle + Bernheimer Design, specifically
designed the building to complement the angularity of its neighbor,
which was designed by Audrey Matlock.
View from the southwest
Chelsea Modern has an angled
glass facaade and windows that open by extending outwards parallel
to the building's facade.
"Rather than look to the
past as a reference, Della Valle + Bernheimer chose to respond
to the design of an adjacent…building by architect Audrey
Matlock…[that] is all delicate planes and irregular surfaces,"
said partner Jared Della Valle. "Ours is about mass, determined
by the building's L-shaped plan and setbacks," he continued.
"Severe in its mass, profile, and detail, 459 West 18th Street
strives to achieve two different experiences. On one hand the
project conveys a strong sense of place to would-be home owners
in a neighborhood that is both new and constantly evolving and
on the other hand possess[es] a sense of tranquility and quiet
through its careful detail and muted interior palette," according
to the architects.
The building's fašade is comprised of black composite aluminum
panels and fritted glass and the architects note that "punctures
through the mass for fenestration are expressed as extruded collars."
The building, which has angled setbacks near the top, has a part-time
doorman, central air-conditioning and heating, and keyed elevator.
Most apartments have 9-foot-4-inch ceilings, recessing ceiling
lights, and kitchen fixtures and cabinetry designed by Della Valle
Bernheimer for RIFRA, Bosch dishwashers. The penthouse units will
have 10-foot-5-inch ceilings and wood-burning fireplaces and Miele
ovens and Ipe wood decking on the terraces.
459 W 18th St. LLC, of which Jared Della Valle is an officer and
Robert Ricciardelli is a managing member is the developer.
The design of this building
is not radical and is highlighted mainly by its vertical angularity
at its top while another Della Valle + Bernheimer project created
about the same time at 245 Tenth Avenue is a more dramatic structure
with a very slick and shiny facade.
"The arresting black and
white exterior geometry belies the serene, understated interiors
within," according to this building's website. The building's
upper slants are reinforced by some unusually large and dramatic
The building has a part-time
doorman and its lobby has a cantilevered chrome reception desk,
white corian bench, and white quartz stone floors.
building turned out more impressive in reality than in renderings for
the black face is wonderfully rich black and from street level the top
angularity conjures the pinching of the crown of a man's hat.
Windows in black base are slightly protruded, a very elegant touch
addition, it has a very handsome stainless steel canopy that is angled
and the windows in the base are slightly protruded, a most elegant