Seven Strikingly Designed Buildings With Top-Notch Residences Inside


Quality architecture and quality residences have always gone hand in hand. But a new crop of farsighted developments is pushing the aesthetic envelope further than ever. From futuristic projects in the Persian Gulf to an updated London icon to innovative constructions in Holland and Harlem, there has never been a more exciting time for premium property with a decidedly architectural edge.

A look at the Valley, a massive new mixed-use commercial and residential development in Holland.


Set to open this year, MVRDV’s 807,300-square-foot development offers retail, restaurants, offices, cultural institutes, and 196 apartments, spread across three towers of crazily stacked boxes, the tallest topping out at 330 feet.

The mountain-like building also brings some much-needed green to Amsterdam’s Zuidas financial district, with dense plantings on terraces, bay windows, and balconies by Dutch garden designer Piet Oudolf.

Staircases on the ground level extend publicly accessible space up to the fifth floor. Below the Valley, the Grotto serves as both a living room for residents and grand foyer for visitors.

A sleek curve defines the facade of The Smile, which is currently rising in East Harlem.

The Smile—New York

East Harlem has a lot to smile about with this mixed-use development designed by BIG-Bjarke Ingels Group on East 126th Street, featuring a curved facade that allows daylight to reach the street. “Like a good neighbor, it fits into the existing neighborhood,” Ingels has said of the 11-story Y-shaped structure, which has a nursing school on the ground floor.

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