Dezeen Magazine

Metal Shutter Houses by Shigeru Ban

Here are some decent-sized renderings of Metal Shutter Houses, a residential development in West Chelsea, New York designed by Japanese architect Shigeru Ban.


The project consists of nine duplexes with motorized, perforated metal shutters that rise and fall to shut off the street-facing windows and terraces.


Update 27/07/11: The project is now complete, providing eight duplexes rather than nine - see photographs of the building here.


Below: penthouse


Here's some info from the developer:


524 West 19th Street

9 duplex houses designed by Shigeru Ban
West Chelsea – New York


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 new New York: the Frank Gehry-designed IAC Headquarters are next door and Jean Nouvel’s 100 11th is under construction 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.


This will mark the first new construction condominium residences in the United States by Mr. 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 (Bridgehampton, 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.

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 close down, becoming a uniform minimal cube, or it can open completely (as well as virtually unlimited permutations between). South of the terrace, twenty foot tall, upwardly pivoting glass windows open completely, thus blurring the boundary between the inside and outside – the double height living room and terrace 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.

  • 11 stories featuring 9 duplex houses and an art gallery and lobby on the ground floor
  • 4 three-bedroom “single-bay” duplex houses with 1,950 sq. ft. interior space, 75 sq. ft. double height terrace, 70 sq. ft. library/bedroom 3 balcony, 70 sq. ft. master bedroom balcony
  • 4 four-bedroom “double-bay” duplex houses with 2,700 sq. ft. interior space, 150 sq. ft. double height terrace, 90 sq. ft. library/bedroom four balcony, 90 sq. ft. master bedroom balcony
  • 1 four-bedroom “triple bay” duplex penthouse with 3,180 sq. ft. interior space, 821 sq. ft. outdoor space on 10th floor, 275 sq. ft. outdoor space on 11th floor and 670 sq. ft roof deck


  • Signature Shigeru Ban designed undulating paper tube ceiling
  • Shigeru Ban designed white lacquer doorman/concierge desk in matte finish
  • White lacquer cabinetry in matte finish along rear wall
  • Concrete slab floor
  • Elevator with stainless steel side panels and back-lit frosted glass ceiling


  • All units are floor through duplexes
  • Private elevator vestibule
  • Solid ¾” quarter sawn 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 double height terrace – allowing for adjustable light control and privacy
  • 20’ floor-to-ceiling upward pivoting window 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
  • 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
  • Study overlooking double height living room with Ban designed white lacquer desk in matte finish (select residences)
  • 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
  • Recessed down lights for uniform illumination throughout the residence in kitchen, dining room, double height living room, and galleries
  • Cable/satellite television ready, CAT 6 telecommunications wiring throughout each unit
  • Siedle Video intercom and state of the art security monitoring system
  • Miele washer and dryer.


Developers: HEEA DEVELOPMENT LLC, a development of Spiritos Properties and Klemens Gasser