ABI Chelsea is Close to Completion at 455 West 19th Street

455 West 19th Street looking east. Photo by Michael Young

The ABI Chelsea, aka 455 West 19th Street, an upcoming residential project between Ninth and Tenth Avenues, is nearing completion. The ten-story building is designed by Raed Abillama Architects, a Lebanon-based firm, while Paik Architecture is serving as the architect of record. The ten-unit condominium is being developed by Al Amir Holdings, which is expecting a projected sellout of $77.5 million.

The main southern façade. Photo by Michael Young

The project will most likely finish by the end of the year, or early 2020 at the very latest. Photo by Michael Young

The 50-foot-wide southern exterior features two contrasting architectural dialects. More than half is comprised of a series of thin vertical fins separating narrow windows. To the left of this are several levels of broad rectangular glass panels, each within an indented framework. This juxtaposition illustrates the development’s combination of visibility and privacy, and the two patterns span the height of the building, including an inward push with a setback at the fifth and sixth floors. The western elevation is left as a blank, windowless wall.

The northern façade has the opposite architectural language, with narrow horizontal windows and several private balconies with views of Midtown. The ground level will have floor-to-ceiling windows and will contain a proposed 5,000-square-foot commercial space that will most likely become an art gallery. A landscaped courtyard will be situated in the back of the property.

There will be two duplexes and a penthouse triplex on the upper floors. A rooftop terrace and swimming pool will also come with the project.

455 West 19th Street looks like it could be completed by the end of the year.

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18 Comments on "ABI Chelsea is Close to Completion at 455 West 19th Street"

  1. Is this “style” neo-brutalism?

    • This is style East Berlin 1950s brutalism, unfortunately they are several building of this neo-communist style postwar Germany in architecture in NYC now.

    • Is piece of Lebanon in NYC near High Line.
      Btw, it is not so bad, since High Line “neighborhood” is already collection of odious looking buildings various floors, forms, cladding, colors. This is not “ugly duck” in collection of such structures, but definitely should be more creative design.
      They built such in the Middle East reqion since 1930s, all simular “ugly duck” design. This not a Brutalist architecture but Middle East revival design. You may find such plenty in Syria, Turkey, Lebanon, Israel, Jordan. This is midcentury modern Southern architecture, type of Miami Modern. It was emerging architecture after Streamline Moderne style, off Art Deco, with strong Middle East Mediterranean motives.

  2. Excuse me but can there be an uglier building – anywhere?

    • Only few simular “East Berlin styled structures, one in the corner of Canal Street and Avenue of Americas, other is on the corner of Eight Avenue and 42nd Street, plus several more on High Line and one in Fourth Avenue in Brooklyn, I believe in southern part of Sunset Park. Also simular structures are in Sheepshead Bay, Brighton Beach, but this one is probably ugliest one!!!

    • 77,5 million projected sellout, ten condos, each one average for $7,5 million bucks, are you ready to buy one, just in case????

  3. I agree. It looks like a badly designed building from the 1970s.

  4. Been under construction for over 2 years. Not a chance in hell it will be done in 2019.

  5. It’s certainly not pretty for a residential building. Looks more like a cosmetized parking garage. From the photos available in this posting, the finish to the cladding looks very good though. Close ups might reveal otherwise but if it’s concrete, it’s not your standard, off-the-formwork variety. I’m guessing GFRC the use of which seems to be increasing. GFRC cladding panels were hauled all the way from Dubai for the late Zaha Hadid almost complete condo tower in Miami.

  6. I think this throwback to midcentury is all right. Some of this architect’s buildings in Lebanon are beautiful.

    • Jack Liberman | April 10, 2019 at 3:44 am | Reply

      True, this more looks like Miami Modern architectural style replica. Means Southern style of Midcentury Moderne, or those what is built in Middle East. Maybe not well suitable for NYC, but this is High Line “crazy architecture neighborhood”.

  7. Roberto Baggio | April 12, 2019 at 12:55 pm | Reply

    Word on the street is that many contractors have not been paid for the work they completed!!!!!
    That could be a reason why it is taking 3years to get to this stage!!!!

    I believe most of the work is at a standstill and there is zero chance this project will be completed by 2019..

  8. Roberto baggio | May 1, 2019 at 7:08 pm | Reply

    Just heard the GC got kicked off the job and the majority of the sub contractors are owed a vast amount of money… This has been a very messy project

    • My apartment windows face the back of the building. I can confirm that there hasn’t been a worker on site in almost a month and construction was slow all winter. Even when they were working, they were incredibly inefficient. The scaffolding on the west side of the building was taken down and put back up at least three times for god knows what reason. Please keep us updated on anything else you hear.

      • Yes, I have a view of the infill cmu block on the east elevation as well as the north elevation. I’m an architect and figured “something” had to be amiss, as no one in their right mind would leave the envelope of a building “unsealed” for as long as this project has, under normal circumstances. This would be the 2nd building on this block to have construction issues. (435W19, being the other.)

  9. Giorgio Righi Riva | November 10, 2019 at 5:57 am | Reply

    @JackLiberman so the chelsea is full of hideous buildings? which? ok there every building tell a self story. I think that chelsea is full of good projects, but every building ignore the others, but that not means that if a building ignore anothere is ugly. It is the methapor about the hard individualism of our times.

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