When you think of Harlem, is the first thing that pops up in your head Don Johnson in a white suit smirking in the chemtrails of a neon pink sign at the crossroads of trendy and cutting edge? If so, you'll be very happy to learn that a new apartment building slated to go up in East Harlem will embrace the green-pink-blue fluorescent tones of Miami circa-1986. It's too bad area locals already despise the building.
The eight-story, 20-unit apartment building at 329 Pleasant Avenue, which is being developed by HAP Investment Developers, was issued permits for construction by the city Buildings Department on August 12th. This despite the fact that locals were already upset about the strong color palette last spring, and were told there would be a public referendum on the building (which there never was).
"It’s absolutely ridiculous," 54-year-old next-door neighbor Alix Brignol told the News. "It doesn’t match anything. It’s the definition of a sore thumb. It’s hideous and insulting to stick that in the neighborhood without anybody’s input. It’s crap. It’s hideous. It’s like a disco building."
In case you were confused by the renderings, the glass on the balconies will be colored; that light/color will then shine inside the apartment, theoretically turning anyone who lives there into a fuchsia Kramer. Here's how the developers explain the bold color choice:
Today luxury can be defined as democratic and technorganic, that luxury is not any more about diamonds, chandeliers, marble, but instead about our new casual age, that luxury is about lightness, affordability, flexibility, that luxury is about being inspired, having new and original human experiences, about having greater pleasure with less materiality, mentally and physically!
Daylight is essential to positive thinking and your well being. Light increases the production of serotonin as we all know is very necessary. Also every time I design spaces I think about the light firstly, especially daylight and blackout. I always look for ways to maximize the light you have: skylights, enlarged windows, roof windows, bouncing light from one room to another, transparent or translucent glass walls to bring light into all the diverse rooms of the home, using mirrors, etc.
For this new Kondo for HAP New York, I want to create a building that uses light and color to provide the luxury of well being to its inhabitants.
The real test will be whether the serotonin caused by the colored glass will offset the severe depression caused by the colored glass. Because as a wise man once said, no matter how hot it gets, sooner or later there's a cool breeze comin' in.