West Chelsea’s Lantern-Shaped Towers
- Oct 05, 2021
Lantern House is a pair of eye-catching structures in Midtown Manhattan, developed by Related Cos. and designed by Thomas Heatherwick, with SLCE Architects as the architect of record. Built along the green, open spaces of the High Line in West Chelsea, the project’s signature, lantern-shaped bay windows have already become iconic.
But its interior is as compelling as its exterior. Completed this spring, the 10- and 22-story structures rising at 515 W.18th St. feature 181 luxury condominiums and an extensive array of amenities, including a common courtyard and outdoor garden, a fitness center with spa and swimming pool, an entertainment room and a children’s playroom.
The condos were designed by March and White Design (MAWD) and range from one- to four-bedroom layouts, with some of the residences featuring private setback terraces with expansive views of the High Line, Chelsea and Hudson Yards.
Elliot March, co-founder of March and White Design, talks about the way the project’s interior spaces match its distinctive exterior, while also reflecting the energy and authenticity of the neighborhood.
What is unique about Lantern House’s concept and design?
March: Lantern House is one of the most collaborative and innovative residential projects in the world. From the project’s inception, Thomas Heatherwick wanted to design a residence from the inside out. We worked closely with Thomas and his team to fully realize that architectural vision.
The intention of the signature lantern-shaped bay windows that define the bold exterior is to maximize natural light in the interiors. We emphasized this through the craftsmanship, materiality, textures and color palettes.
How did you harmonize your design with Thomas Heatherwick’s striking architecture?
March: The collaboration was very organic. Our objective was to complement Heatherwick’s exteriors with bold interiors that played with natural light from day to night, reflected the energy and authenticity of the neighborhood, and provided a warm, layered environment for residents.
How do the two structures integrate into the surroundings?
March: The building is truly integrated into the High Line—the structure’s columns drive down through the lobby from the ceiling into the floor. The custom-designed furnishings both complement the industrial elements, and add warmth and polish. The resulting natural balance is reflective of the neighborhood’s energy and also sets the tone for the rest of the building’s interiors.
What is special about the way you designed the penthouses?
March: Like the design of the rest of the building, the penthouses at Lantern House emphasize quality and craftsmanship. MAWD’s design of the two central elements, the fireplace and the staircase, both feature examples of the exceptional attention to detail.
The fireplace is surrounded with rich Emperador Dark stone slabs for the surround and hearth with intricate custom stepping details, and the firebox opening is applied with a bespoke bronze metal frame finish that matches the building’s window mullions.
The staircase was installed with custom bronze metal rods, creating a semi-private open stair, with custom wood stains for the stair treads, risers and wood paneled knee wall. The handrail is specially designed as well—with a dark finish leather wrap on the rail and custom bronze brackets, the result is in tune with the rest of the building and appropriately elevated for the penthouse of one of New York’s most iconic buildings.How much open and private space have you allocated to the project’s amenity areas?
March: Amenity spaces have become one of the most important aspects for residents in high-end multifamily residences. The amenity collection at Lantern House was designed to flex from day to night, and from work to play, providing welcoming entertaining opportunities as well as moments of privacy and quiet.
For instance, the library lounge is at once intimate and social, with a Grigio Fantastico stone fireplace that is accentuated with a bronze metal frame, ash-finish bookcases and MAWD’s custom-designed lush blue sofas and metal-and-marble nesting coffee tables. Its sophisticated warmth easily phases from a place where one could have a professional conversation in the morning to a glass of wine with a friend in the evening.
Health and wellness have been top of mind since the onset of the pandemic. Please tell us a few details about Lantern House’s features that support residents’ health and wellness.
March: The elegant and expansive fitness center at Lantern House was developed with Equinox and boasts a 75-foot swimming pool, cold plunge pool and hot tub, as well as cedar-lined saunas—one conventional and one with infrared technology. The glass-enclosed yoga studio overlooks the pool, and a fully equipped gym features innovative lighting and floor-to-ceiling mirrors for performance.
We take a holistic approach to wellness that incorporates the resident’s entire day—live, move, work and play. From the abundant natural light to the ability to embrace the new routines that have transformed homes into spaces for flexible working, virtual learning and beyond, Lantern House is a dynamic and versatile residence that supports overall well-being.