Metal Shutter Houses by Shigeru Ban Architects
and Dean Maltz Architect


Metal Shutter Houses by Shigeru Ban Architects

After hours, rolling metal shutters fasten across these New York apartments designed by Japanese architect Shigeru Ban.

Metal Shutter Houses by Shigeru Ban Architects and Dean Maltz Architect

Surrounded by art galleries in a West Chelsea neighbourhood, the Metal Shutter Houses rise above a gallery on the ground floor.

Metal Shutter Houses by Shigeru Ban Architects and Dean Maltz Architect

The eleven-storey block contains eight duplex apartments, each with balconies facing the street.

Metal Shutter Houses by Shigeru Ban Architects and Dean Maltz Architect

Activated by a motor, individual perforated shutters slide over each balcony to entirely conceal the glazed facades of the apartments behind.

Metal Shutter Houses by Shigeru Ban Architects and Dean Maltz Architect

A central elevator provides access to the apartments, which each have private lobbies before their front doors.

Metal Shutter Houses by Shigeru Ban Architects and Dean Maltz Architect

Early renderings of the building were published on Dezeen back in 2007 - see our earlier story to compare.

Metal Shutter Houses by Shigeru Ban Architects and Dean Maltz Architect

Another recently featured Shigeru Ban project was a temporary housing block made from shipping containers - see all our stories about Shigeru Ban here. The block also shares fortress-like characteristics with a Polish house featured on Dezeen last month.

Metal Shutter Houses by Shigeru Ban Architects and Dean Maltz Architect

Photography is by Michael Moran.

Here are some more details from the architects:

Metal Shutter Houses


The Metal Shutter Houses, designed by the internationally renowned Japanese architect, Shigeru Ban, are located on the south side of West 19th Street, between 10th and 11th Avenues in West Chelsea’s art gallery district, steps away from the High Line, the Hudson River, Chelsea Piers, and the Hudson River Park. The block offers a bold display of the new New York: the Frank Gehry-designed IAC Headquarters are next door and Jean Nouvel’s 100 11th is across the street. Low-profile warehouse buildings throughout the neighborhood allow for long city views, including the Empire State building, from each floor of the Metal Shutter Houses.

Metal Shutter Houses by Shigeru Ban Architects and Dean Maltz Architect

Click above for larger image


This marks the first new construction condominium residences in the United States by Ban. Known for his “poetic” architectural style, Ban has tailored what could be characterized as contextual invention to this unique 11 story structure. Such highly sensitive ingenuity has been seen in some of his previous house designs, such as the Curtain Wall House (Tokyo, Japan), the Paper House (Yamanashi, Japan), and more recently, the Furniture House 5 (Sagaponac, New York). While Ban’s work is continually so inventive that one cannot generalize his “look,” the Metal Shutter Houses' variable façade demonstrates Ban's fascination with use of unusual materials (or use of common materials in new contexts) and mobility of parts, often inspired by the simplicity of traditional Japanese architecture as well as the modern lines of the International school.

Metal Shutter Houses by Shigeru Ban Architects and Dean Maltz Architect

The Metal Shutter Houses is a dynamic building. The façade's motorized perforated metal shutters serve as light-modulating privacy screen at the outer edge of each residence’s terrace adjacent to the double-height living rooms. This subtle “removable skin” echoes the neighboring gallery after-hours shutters, subtly contextualizing the building within its site. The building can literally become a uniform minimal cube, or it can open completely (as well as virtually unlimited permutations between). South of the loggia, twenty foot tall, upwardly pivoting open completely, thus blurring the boundary between the inside and outside – the double height living room and loggia become one. Similarly, a series of interior sliding glass doors create an open "universal floor" in each of the duplex houses – one vast and uninterrupted expanse which transitions seamlessly from inside to outside, or partition the space into private areas.

Metal Shutter Houses by Shigeru Ban Architects and Dean Maltz Architect


» 11 stories featuring 8 duplex houses, an art gallery and lobby on the ground floor.
» 3 three-bedroom “single-bay” duplex houses with 1,949 sq. ft. interior space (including the 80 sq. ft. double height loggia) and two 70 sq. ft. south balconies.
» 3 four-bedroom “double-bay” duplex houses with 2,700 sq. ft. interior space (including the 160 sq. ft. loggia) and two 93 sq. ft. south balconies.
» 1 five-bedroom East West house with 4,644 sq. ft. interior space with 47’ wide living room (including the 240 sq.ft. double height loggia), two 70 sq.ft and two 93 sq.ft, south balconies.
» 1 four-bedroom “triple bay” duplex penthouse with 3,319 sq. ft. interior space, 750 sq. ft.¹ north entertainment terrace, 162 sq. ft. master bedroom terrace, two 137 sq. ft.¹ south balconies and 677 sq. ft. exclusive roof deck with garden shed.

Residence features

» All units are floor through duplexes.
» Private elevator vestibule.
» Solid ¾” quarter sawn 4½” white oak flooring throughout living areas.
» North, South and West (select residences) exposures.
» Great room with double height 20’ceiling --ideal for displaying large works of art.
» Shigeru Ban designed perforated metal shutters to enclose loggia – allowing for adjustable light control and privacy.
» 20’ floor-to-ceiling upward pivoting glass walls allow for great light air, views, and a seamless transition to double height outdoor space.
» Flexible use library/bedroom 3 or 4 with balcony and sliding glass walls.
» Highly flexible lower level entertaining floor -- the sliding glass walls provide seamless access from the rear library terrace all the way to the double height terrace in the front, or close for privacy.
» Study overlooking double height living room with Ban designed white lacquer desk in matte finish (select residences).
» Floor-to-ceiling white lacquer cabinetry in matte finish custom designed by Shigeru Ban provides unique and ample storage space in living areas and bedrooms.
» Shigeru Ban designed die cast Aluminum door levers by Oshima in white zincart finish.
» Radiant floor heating in double height living room.
» High performance 4 pipe fan coil heating and air conditioning (multi-zoned) for year round individual control and comfort.
» Cable/satellite television ready, CAT 6 telecommunications wiring throughout each unit.
» Miele washer and dryer.


Design architects: Shigeru Ban Architects + Dean Maltz Architect
Interiors: Shigeru Ban Architects + Dean Maltz Architect
Executive Architect: Montroy DeMarco, LLP
Developers: HEEA Development LLC, a development of Spiritos Properties and Klemens Gasser
Exclusive Marketing &
Sales Agent: Corcoran Sunshine Marketing Group

Address: 524 West 19th Street, New York, NY 10019

  • cacas

    anti-ego architecture. the world need more of this. “less is more”,

  • markcb

    nice for one building but wouldnt want to see a whole street of closed shutters.

  • AJ

    This is next to the High Line park too, no?

  • utilitarian | yoōˌtiliˈte(ə)rēən|
    1 designed to be useful or practical rather than attractive.
    2 Philosophy of, relating to, or adhering to the doctrine of utilitarianism : a utilitarian theorist.

    noun Philosophy
    an adherent of utilitarianism.

  • Tim

    There would be 65,536 different combinations of the shutters. Not unlimited. It is a very clean looking building and if it was situated on the North side of the street the shutters could have kept down heat gain while the occupants were at work.

  • Tim

    Can anyone figure out how the windows function?

  • edward

    The question is will the shutters and the window wall which opens to the exterior keep working. And do you want pigeons flying into the house. And all manner of bugs. This is so far out I can't believe I have understood the pics correctly tho' I have seen pics of Japanese houses which have that feature of opening up an entire wall to expose the interior to the outside. Something about curing the Japanese historical tendency to live enclosed .in claustrophobic boxes.

  • pat

    um, stolen from pugh + scarpa, anyone?

    • James

      They wish Shigeru Ban stole from him.

  • sleek and beautiful.

  • Ben Dover

    The facade without the shutters down reminds me very much of one of the most beautiful buildings in NYC; the Pepsi Co. building by SOM/Gordon Bunshaft. Especially the 2nd photo. The good stuff…