By Carter B. Horsley
The Caledonia, a very large residential development
of The Related Companies, L.P., and Taconic Investment Partners
L.L.C., on the east side of Tenth Avenue between 16th and 17th
Streets apparently took much of its interior design inspiration
from the craggy, winding, quixotic and sometimes organic Chelsea
Market directly across from it on 16th Street.
The 24-story project includes 190 condominium apartments in its
tower and 288 rental apartments in its 8-story-high wing. Occupancy
was scheduled for fall 2008.
While its architecture fails to rise to the stararchitect status
of some of its contemporary buildings in Chelsea, it abounds in
The building was designed by Handel Architects
LLC., with "enlightened design" by Clodagh.
An 8-page description of the project on its website, entitled
"The warmth of Home. The Cool of West Chelsea," provides
a lengthy article on Clodagh's "enlightenment" that
conjures mouth-watering, epicurean menus:
The through-block lobby, it maintained, "was conceived as
a necklace of experiences inspired by Clodagh's global travels
and the local neighborhood," adding that "The patina
of metal and steel contrasted with the rich grain of wood and
light creates shadow and reflection throughout."
The lobby has "walls of flamed and coarsely finished sandstone
and Venetian plaster, horizontal bands of grouted amber pebbles,
blue stone flooring....cascading water flows into a stone reflecting
pool, a floating bridge over the water trough leads from the parking
garage into the lobby, elevator cabs feature Osetra suede and
metal panel walls, mirrors with metal mesh layering, and blue
stone flooring,...illuminated bamboo garden through overhead skylight."
The lobby also has a concierge desk, "inspired by Richard
Serra," and "fashioned from a solid walnut slab atop
a corten steel base, lit by a kinetic, pulsating light sculpture."
"Raised in Oscar Wilde's Irish summer home, Clodagh's passion
for literature inspired her to create a residential browsing library"
that has a graphite cement stone fireplace and a "custom
anodized iron bamboo privacy screen" that is not far from
a bamboo garden designed by H. M. White.
Apartments have bamboo plank flooring, and kitchens have Miele
dishwashers and SubZero refrigerators, both with "integrated
bamboo panels." Bathrooms have "Golden Sand" tile
flooring and quartztite tiled walls, "thick ginger crystal
polished quartztite slab countertops" and "Artic white
Corian vessel sinks" as well as custom design fixtures by
Watermark "inspired by ancient Etruscan metals," and
Toto Carolina one-piece toilets.
The building has an Equinox fitness center with a kid's club,
a sundeck, a business center, a pet spa, a children's playroom,
bicycle storage, storage bins, 24-hour doormen and concierges,
and an residents' entertainment lounge with "woven grasscloth
wall covering with woven window shades."
The building includes 59 "permanent," "affordable"
The condo and rental sections of the building share a common lobby,
but have separate elevators.
The building has provided $28 million to the High Line park for
public access to the elevated park from its site.
Prices for the 190 condominium apartments initially ranged from
$595,000 for a studio to more than $4 million for a penthouse.
The Related/Taconic project is on the former site of the Chelsea
Garden Center and close to another large project planned by Edison
Properties LLC and designed by Robert A. M. Stern Architects that
will include 869 condominium apartments in two towers at 501 West