Bridging Harlem’s active 125th Street corridor and the quieter 126th Street, The Smile is a mixed-used development that houses a nursing school on the street level and residential apartment units above. One-third of these residential units contain affordable housing units that strengthen and provide housing diversity within the neighborhood. East 126’s unique T-shaped footprint offers a diverse set of unit sizes and layout organizations, while also strengthening the connection relationship with the neighboring buildings. This southern cantilevered portion of the building appears to hover over the existing commercial building on 125th Street, creating a dynamic component in the evolving uptown streetscape. Along 126th Street the building’s facade gently slopes inwards as it rises upwards, softening the hard linear street edge in an elegant gesture. This architectural move enables the building massing to comply with the city’s zoning envelope and at the same time enables the residential street to have more direct sunlight. The use of an interlocking checkerboard facade panel system allows for floor-to-ceiling windows in each unit, creating open views of the city for the tenants. Apartment units overlook East Harlem towards Central Park as well as northern views over the Harlem River and the Bronx.
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