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Bjarke Ingels’s undulating East Harlem rentals get new renderings

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Construction is officially underway after the project’s groundbreaking ceremony on Wednesday

Construction has commenced on the latest New York City project designed by starchitect Bjarke Ingels, a rental building being developed by the Blumenfeld Development Group (BDG) in East Harlem. The undulating structure, which will rise along East 126th Street between Lexington and Third avenues, celebrated its first steps with a groundbreaking ceremony where official renderings for the project were revealed.

In contrast to earlier preliminary renderings, the concave building, dubbed Gotham East 126th Residential, will sport a gray exterior "inspired by an elephant’s skin," Ingels revealed, instead of the bright red facade once conceived. Ingels originally wanted to use red corten steel to match the surrounding brick buildings but opted for blackened stainless steel to create a "black satin finish," that will both capture and reflect sunlight on its two sides, he told Curbed.

The tower is set to have 233 rental apartments, a mix of studios, one-, and two-bedroom apartments. Roughly 46 of those will be deemed affordable.

Interiors within the building’s common areas will include bursts of color and patterns that Ingels says is inspired by his recent travels to Jamaica, the Bahamas, and Puerto Rico. The entranceway, elevator lobby, and mailboxes will gleam with a "cacophony of Caribbean colors," while the actual apartments will take on a more understated tone that can be customized by each resident. "The thing about color is that it’s incredibly personal," Ingels explained.

Building amenities will include a fitness center, roof garden, game room, and lounge. Additionally, the lobby will be an ongoing art project where artworks from local artists will be featured as a way of supporting the neighborhood’s vibrancy and creative spirit.