Metal Shutter Houses that located in New York, United States, was designed by Shigeru Ban. Taking his cue from the roll-down metal security screens once prevalent in the district, Ban applied the idea of a versatile changing façade to this upscale residential project with remarkable results, enclosing the building’s street facade with a diaphanous perforated metal skin that can be raised and lowered at whim to close off the living space from the city entirely all the while maintaining a good deal of transparency that allows light to penetrate the living spaces and affords residents views to the outdoors.
On the building’s south façade, which faces the garden, Ban has similarly responded with a façade of enormous bi-fold glass doors that can be opened with the touch of a button thus allowing the inhabitants to live ‘en plein air’. This blurring between indoor and outdoor space that is clearly at work here is a subject that has long interested this architect. According to Ban ‘there is something inevitably compelling between the inside and out’. Ban believes that the interstitial moment between breathing in the world and maintaining a feeling of ‘shelter’ is understood by all, which is why he employs the concept of a ‘universal floor’ in many of his projects, as he does here in the Metal Shutter Houses.