Harlem Mart 125

Author(s)

Project Description

Our site—located in Central Harlem on a narrow through-lot—faces two unique and opposite conditions. The building’s north face addresses 125th street as well as the Apollo theater (the nucleus of Harlem’s nightlife) while its south face looks onto a residential street with scant building frontage or community presence. This design negotiates and engages with the unique characters of 125th and 124th streets through ‘urban layers’ at the building’s street-wall and ground level.

These layers are programmed on 125th as collaborative office-areas, made divisible by curtains that can be digitally projected on. Media content generated by artists or the building’s tenants illuminate the north façade at night; contributing to the street’s vibrant public life. In contrast, the south side becomes a vertical garden—a layer of sun-rooms covered with planting—creating an oasis and porch-space in an otherwise dead street. These vertical layers are connected through a specially programmed, continuous ground level.