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HomeArchitectureDXA Studio fronts Maverick Chelsea with faceted precast concrete

DXA Studio fronts Maverick Chelsea with faceted precast concrete

Architect: DXA Studio
Location: New York City
Completion Date: 2024

DXA Studio, a New York–based practice, has added a 20-story residential tower across five lots in Chelsea. Located on West 28th Street, Maverick Chelsea is divided into two facade expressions. Half of the building, clad in white precast concrete panels, contains units for sale, while the gray portion encloses rental units and affordable housing. The firm designed the prefabricated facade panels with geometric relief to create a less imposing street presence.

One street over from the Fashion Institute of Technology, Maverick Chelsea benefits from the campus’s low rise structures that provide the residences with unobstructed southern light. This access to natural light also heightens the dimensionality of the facade, upon which shadows and sunlight interplay throughout the day.

street view of Maverick Chelsea
The building benefits from generous southern exposure throughout the day. (Tim Waltman)

Given the project’s large footprint, spanning five individual lots, the architects’ primary concern was breaking up the massing of the building, while still delivering a building which maximized floor area. This was accomplished through the aforementioned division of condo and rental units as well as compliance with New York City’s setback zoning regulations.

A setback was implemented at 85 feet in compliance with city regulations. This space was used to create an outdoor amenity space with a covered loggia, protecting residents from strong winds from the Hudson River. DXA Studio took advantage of New York City’s dormer allowances to include the loggia. Otherwise, this overhang would have encroached upon the unbuildable space set forth by the setback requirement.

In total, Maverick Chelsea contains 87 condo units and 112 rental units, 31 percent of which are affordable. Because of its provision for affordable units, the builders were permitted to add additional floor area to the project.

trucks carrying in facade panels
A truck carries the prefabricated panels down 7th Avenue on its way to the site. (Courtesy DXA)

To accelerate the construction schedule and reduce cost, DXA collaborated with BPDL, a Quebecois facade manufacturer, to develop 25-foot-long prefabricated facade panels. The panels were delivered by truck from Canada and were installed one by one across the facade of the structure. In total, the architects estimate that the panel installation took 20 business days, as the construction team was able to install multiple panels per day.

Window units were purposefully built in to the prefabricated panels, allowing BPDL to waterproof and install the glazing in Canada prior to delivery to the site.

The team devised two facade finishes to distinguish the two portions of Maverick Chelsea. The first, fronting the condo tower, consists of an acid-treated concrete, yielding a white color. These panels were detailed with painted bronze, accentuating the panel’s triangular geometry. In contrast, a dark gray concrete was used for the rental tower. Last time AN checked in on the project, in 2020, installation of the facade panels was wrapping up.

bronze insets on white facade panels
Bronze-painted insets in the white concrete facade were used to emphasize depth. (Chris Coe)
gray facade panels
The geometry of the precast panels helps to conceal connection points. (Chris Coe)

Jordan Rogove, partner and cofounder of the firm, told AN that one of the greatest challenges of the project was detailing the connections points between the prefab panels. This allowed the facade to appear as one cohesive unit, concealing the fact that it was installed in segments.

“One of the great benefits of the geometric pattern is the facets. The seams between the concrete essentially make them disappear… In a lot of precast of prefab applications you can read all of the joints and it comes across as low budget. In this case I think it looks a lot more composed and intentional,” he said.

indoor swimming pool
All residents have access to a 60-foot indoor pool. (Florian Holzherr)

On the interior of the building, DXA Studio worked with the developer to design a plethora of high-end amenity spaces. These include a fitness center, yoga studio, meditation room, sauna, indoor pool, library, billiards room, and children’s center. The architects were insistent that these amenities be made available to all residents, regardless of whether they reside in the condo, rental, or affordable units.

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