• Architectural Ceramic Assemblies Workshop

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Architect Profile: Selldorf Architects

Originally posted on BostonValley.com
DATE: July 23, 2019

This post is the first in a series profiling architecture firms that Boston Valley Terra Cotta has worked with, highlighting some signature projects. This post will cover our work for NYC’s Selldorf Architects and its principal, Annabelle Selldorf.

Annabelle Selldorf is the founder of Selldorf Architects in New York City. Some of her noted projects include The Neue Galerie, Sunset Park Material Recovery facility, among others. Although her designs are known for their elegance and simplicity, she is reluctant to label her style as minimalism. In an interview with The Gentlewoman Selldorf goes on to describe her approach:

” …if you calm everything down you accomplish more. My work is not minimalist but it’s about finding the essential, not about the detail.”

Boston Valley manufactured architectural terra cotta for several Selldorf projects: 200 Eleventh Avenue, 10 Bond Street and 520 West Chelsea in New York City, and 14th Street Corridor in Washington DC. These four buildings use architectural ceramics to create mood and depth, utilizing the flexible nature of the medium to create unique profiles and striking visuals with custom glazes. The use of terra cotta in construction harkens to another era in architectural history — The Guaranty Building by Louis Sullivan is famous for lavish detail and ornamentation, so Selldorf’s terra cotta clad residences are decidedly her own sensibility. It is the sophistication people have come to expect from Selldorf.


This August Annabelle Selldorf will deliver the 2019 Keynote Speaker for Boston Valley Terra Cotta’s upcoming Architectural Ceramic Assemblies Workshop.


200 Eleventh Avenue

Located in Manhattan’s Chelsea neighborhood, 200 Eleventh Avenue is a unique, luxury residence completed in 2010. The building is 19-stories tall with double height apartments and features a unique vehicle elevator that lets residents to park next to their home. The first three floors of the structure feature a terra cotta facade in a custom bronze glaze. Terra cotta glazes are unique in that they appear differently depending on the finish — in this case, the metallic finish is reminiscent of the area’s industrial past.

The units of terra cotta masonry were created by Boston Valley using the hand press and extrusion forming methods. Extrusion is used produce a continuous terra cotta profile that is then cut to the correct length. Irregular units are formed using the hand press method, in which molds are used to create particular shapes that cannot be produced through linear extrusion.

Metallic Bronze Glaze, 200 Eleventh Avenue, New York City, Boston Valley Terra Cotta

A closeup shot of 200 Eleventh Avenue’s terra cotta façade.


Metallic Bronze Glaze, 200 Eleventh Avenue, New York City, Boston Valley Terra Cotta

200 Eleventh Avenue in New York City features a terra cotta façade with a custom glaze.

10 Bond Street

10 Bond Street in New York City is an elegant residential building located in the landmarked NoHo neighborhood. The seven-story structure is clad in a Boston Valley TerraClad® Rainscreen with an eye-catching custom glaze. 10 Bond reinterprets the industrial brick work from the late 19th and early 20th century using modern terra cotta applications to achieve great style.

The terra cotta units were fabricated using the extrusion forming method, producing many linear directional profiles. The units fabricated for 10 Bond are immense in scale — the production of this façade pushed the extrusion capabilities at Boston Valley to the furthest extent. Our success resulted in terra cotta blocks that are 36” long weighing nearly 150 lbs each.

“The units fabricated for 10 Bond are immense in scale — the production of this façade pushed the extrusion capabilities at Boston Valley to the furthest extent. Our success resulted in terra cotta blocks that are 36” long weighing nearly 150 lbs each.”

Orange TerraCladⓇ façade in New York City, Selldorf Architects, Custom Glaze and extruded terra cotta by Boston Valley Terra Cotta

10 Bond Street in New York City features large, extruded terra cotta with a curved profile.


Orange TerraCladⓇ façade in New York City, Selldorf Architects, Custom Glaze and extruded terra cotta by Boston Valley Terra Cotta

10 Bond Street is a unique, eye catching building that complements surrounding architecture.

520 West Chelsea

520 West Chelsea is an 11-story residential building located near the High Line in Chelsea. Selldorf’s luxe condominium features floor-to-ceiling windows, 75,000 total square feet and commercial spaces on the ground floor. The structure’s outer façade is clad in a dark, midnight blue terra cotta manufactured by Boston Valley. The masonry is featured predominantly on the first two floors of 520 West Chelsea and then in smaller bands between floors on the rest of the building. The curved profile of the terra cotta units were created using the extrusion forming method and the terra cotta wrapping the column was created using the RAM Press forming method.

520 West Chelsea, Midnight Blue Terra Cotta Facade, Selldorf Architects, New York City

520 West Chelsea is a residential building with a midnight blue custom glaze.


520 West Chelsea, Midnight Blue Terra Cotta Facade, Selldorf Architects, New York City

A detail shot of 520 West Chelsea’s midnight blue glaze.

14th Street Corridor

Scheduled to be completed in 2020, the 14th Street Corridor — also known as Liz — is a mixed-use development by Selldorf Architects and Core Architecture and Design for Whitman-Walker Health in Washington DC. This is a significant project that incorporates both the historic Whitman-Walker Health Elizabeth Taylor Medical Center and the Belmont Garage into a 7-story building with residential, commercial, and community spaces. The building features a limestone façade and colorful terra cotta chamfers surrounding each window manufactured by Boston Valley. Units of terra cotta were created using the extrusion forming method and then glazed in various, multi-colored hues.

14th Street Corridor, Selldorf Architects, Core Architecture & Design, Boston Valley Terra Cotta

Construction on the 14th Street Corridor progresses. The building is scheduled to be complete in 2020.


14th Street Corridor, Selldorf Architects, Core Architecture & Design, Boston Valley Terra Cotta

The 14th Street Corridor features extruded terra cotta chamfers in multiple colors.

Custom Fireplace Surrounds

The custom terra cotta fireplace surrounds shown below were manufactured for Selldorf’s line of interior furnishings called Vica. The luxe surrounds are comprised of terra cotta units that were created using the hand press forming method. They feature a dark, charcoal glaze with a metallic finish, similar to the custom glaze used on 200 Eleventh Avenue.

Annabelle Selldorf, Vica, Selldorf Architects, Architectural Terra Cotta, Interior design, custom glaze

Custom terra cotta fireplace surrounds were manufactured for Selldorf’s interior line, Vica.

Read more about the fireplace surrounds for Vica here.

Check back for more upcoming posts in this series profiling architecture firms that we have worked with and their signature projects that use our terra cotta products.