Big-Bjarke Ingels Group Creates a Vibrant Residential Building in Harlem
2021 Best of Year winner for Multiunit Housing
It doesn’t look quite like its neighbors. A T-shape footprint allows the ground-up residential building to connect Harlem’s bustling 125th Street and the much quieter 126th with a curved facade of blackened stainless-steel panels that leans gently back as it rises. The maneuver complies with Manhattan’s zoning envelope while providing the street below with more direct sunlight—and the project its whimsical name: The Smile. At the entry, BIG designed a tile mosaic in vibrant reds, blues, greens, and yellows—the colors chosen to reflect the neighborhood’s Caribbean history.
In addition to 233 units, 70 of which are designated affordable housing, the project includes game and billiard rooms, a coworking area, and a dining room. Those can be found in the fifth-floor amenity space, where a wall of Russian birch slats and polished concrete flooring reflect the firm’s Nordic sensibilities, while throughout, raw materials—an exposed concrete structure, steel trusses—yield an industrial vibe. But white polyurethane flooring and Caesarstone countertops in the rental units change the mode to clean and bright. And thanks to a checkerboard panel system on the facade, each apartment has floor-to-ceiling windows, some with views stretching to Central Park. That gives residents something to smile about.
BIG-Bjarke Ingels Group Models Marsk Tower After the DNA Double Helix
Since its discovery in 1953, the DNA double helix has been symbolic of life itself. That’s why BIG–Bjarke Ingels Group chose the shape for its Marsk Tower, a tall, twisting structure in Southern Jutland, Denmark.
Best of Year Awards 2021
Interior Design celebrates design in all its forms with the 2021 Best of Year Awards. See the winner’s gallery here.
The Galeries Lafayette Flagship by BIG – Bjarke Ingels Group
BIG – Bjarke Ingels Group designs a series of vignettes that unfold across the four-story, 73,200-square-foot flagship of Galeries Lafayette.