Harlem’s smile

The smile

The name of this building is a tribute to its amazing curved façade, made of stainless steel and inspired by the ‘moon’s textured surface’. When viewed from the south, it stands above the surrounding buildings on 125th Street. From above, the structure slopes upward, as if drawing a smile.

Located in the Big Apple’s renowned Harlem district, it houses a nursing school on the street level and 223 apartments above. One-third of these residential units will be set aside for affordable housing.


The building’s interior features an entrance with vibrant splashes of colour, reminiscent of the artistic murals that adorn buildings in East Harlem and representing historic figures that share political messages.

‘Residents are immersed in an explosion of reds, blues, greens and yellows that draw inspiration from Harlem’s Puerto Rican and Caribbean culture’, explained BIG.

The amenities for residents at this unique building include a spa, sauna, fitness room, shared workspace, and a social lounge equipped with a kitchen and pantry for events and cooking classes. There are also barbecue facilities and an open-air dining area on the upper deck of this modern edification.


The rooftop has been furnished with outdoor furniture made by Vondom. Pillow sun chaises in bright colours stand out in the building’s main outdoor space, along with whirlpool spas and a swimming pool, equipped with lounge chairs and coffee tables from the same collection designed by Stefano Giovannoni.

The furniture pieces by the Spanish brand make this terrace the perfect place for social activities, gatherings and relaxation. And to top things off, it also boasts stunning views of Manhattan.


In summary, the Vondom creations in this residential building transform the rooftop into a place in which to smile from ear to ear.

The photograph is by Pernille and Thomas Loof.

Project designed by Bjarke Ingels Group

New york, USA

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