Metal Shutter Houses, located at 524 West 19th Street, is Shigeru Ban’s first condominium residences in the United States. He has tailored what could be characterized as contextual invention to this unique 11 story building. Such highly sensitive ingenuity has been seen in his previous house designs, such as Picture Window House in Shizuoka, Japan, Glass Shutter House in Tokyo, and the Furniture House 5 in Sagaponac, New York. The Metal Shutter Houses’ variable façade demonstrates Ban’s fascination with the use of common materials in new contexts and mobility of parts, often inspired by the simplicity of traditional Japanese architecture as well as modern lines of the International School.
According to Ban, there is something inevitably compelling about the area between inside and outside. He believes that the interstitial moment between breathing in the world and maintaining a feeling of “shelter” is understood by all. It is why he employs the concept of a “universal floor” in so many of his residences, as he does here at Metal Shutter Houses.
Each of the residences can be opened across its entire breadth, exposing the double-height living room to the cityscape. A 20 foot upward pivoting glass wall can create one vast and uninterrupted loft expanse—Ban’s “universal floor”—which transitions seamlessly from inside to outside. The rigorously designed interiors adapt to the desires of the occupants by creating visual and spatial clarity through intelligent configurations of windows and walls, thereby taking advantage of the endlessly shifting qualities of natural light and the pure expanse of space.
On the lower floors, the façade’s motorized perforated metal shutters serve as a light-modulating privacy screen at the outer edge of the terraces. This ‘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 up completely.
- NYC Storm Zone 1
|Owned by:||524 WEST 19TH STREET|
|Architect:||Shigeru Ban Architects|
|Sales and marketing:||Corcoran Sunshine Marketing Group|
|Sales office tel:||212-759-3258|
|Sales start:||October 2007|