See inside Bjarke Ingels’ new Harlem rental The Smile, with apartments from $2,056/month

November 10, 2020

Photo courtesy of NOISE

Living in a starchitect-designed apartment building is now slightly more attainable. The Smile, a new rental tower in East Harlem designed by BIG-Bjarke Ingels Group, has officially opened. The 11-story tower at 158 East 126th Street, named for its grin-like shape, contains 233 apartments, 70 of which are affordable. Leasing kicked off in September, with pricing for the market-rate rentals starting at roughly $2,056/month. New photos released this week take us inside the minimalist model residences and the impressive amenity package that is tailored to those working from home, including a co-working studio and a rooftop with a plunge pool, three whirlpools, and an outdoor movie theater.

Photos courtesy of Blumenfeld Development Group

Developed by Blumenfeld Development Group, the building topped out in October 2017 with the name E126. The new name, as CityRealty reported last year, reflects both the footprint of the building as well as conveys “how fun the building will be to live in.”

The design of the building slopes inward as it rises upward, providing great views of the Harlem River and Manhattan skyline. By cantilevering over 125th Street, the shape of the building allows for a mix of apartment sizes and layouts, while the facade’s interlocking checkerboard pattern gives every unit floor-to-ceiling windows.

Photos courtesy of NOISE

“The homes rise above and beyond the Gotham Retail Plaza, cantilevering over to 125th street as it captures the views and sunlight from the south,” Ingels said in a statement earlier this summer. “The Smile is designed for the desires of Harlem’s residents of today – joining the diverse Harlem neighborhood, integrating wellness amenities and offering generous roof gardens.”

Residences, ranging from studio lofts to two-bedroom apartments, feature white Quartzline monolithic resin floors, exposed concrete details, high ceilings, washer and dryers, and oversized closets.

The kitchens, designed by BIG, boast imported Italian stainless steel cabinets and Caesarstone countertop and backsplash while bathrooms have white ceramic walls, custom natural oak vanity, and modern fixtures and finishes. The unique configuration of the Smile provides views of the Harlem River and Central Park.

Photos courtesy of NOISE

As New Yorkers continue to work from home on a full-time basis, the amenity package of the Smile is a major selling point. The building, which pledges to meet CDC guidelines, features the “Smile Rooftop Swim Club,” which includes a plunge pool with city views, whirlpools, dining areas, an outdoor movie theater, and landscaped spaces.

Residents can also enjoy a co-working studio with areas for individual work and collaboration, a game room, a spacious demo kitchen, and a screening room.

Photos courtesy of NOISE

The fitness center includes Peloton bikes, Nautilus circuit training machines, and other equipment. The Smile Spa contains a dry sauna, steam room, salt room, “sensory experience showers,” Hamam, and more.

Brown Harris Stevens Development Marketing is handling leasing at The Smile. According to the building’s website, current availabilities start at $2,056/month studios, $2,250/month one-bedrooms, and $3,440/month two-bedrooms, with concessions.

Editor’s note 11/10/20: This post was originally published on August 10, 2020, and has since been updated with new images and information.


All photos courtesy of NOISE. Interior renderings courtesy of Vizerio Architectural Visualization, unless otherwise noted. Exterior photos by Blumenfeld Development Group.

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