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What is Shigeru Ban Up To in West Chelsea?

For all those unaware of West Chelsea's ascendance to the mindfuck capital of New York City starchitecture, we now present to you the area surrounding West 19th Street, between 10th Avenue and the river Hudson. Already the once and future home of Frank Gehry's IAC headquarters, Jean Nouvel's 100 Eleventh Avenue and Annabelle Selldorf's 520 West Chelsea, this suddenly upscale patch of land may have been saving the best for last with the arrival of Japanese architect/demigod Shigeru Ban, a partnership announced to the world via a bamboo construction fence tucked between 520 West Chelsea and the IAC. So just what the heck is going on here?

In June, Metropolis posted a map of new development around the High Line, and right next to Selldorf's building was an unnamed project from Shigeru Ban. There were no more details then, and there are scant few now. The development is called the Metal Shutter Houses, and there's a teaser website that advertises 3-4BR houses and Corcoran Sunshine representation. That's pretty much it, but the name does give something away.

Up above, there are some images from two Ban projects from 2003, Glass Shutter House (L) and Shutter House for a Photographer (R). So, we are led to believe that the Metal Shutter Houses will bare some resemblance to these, or maybe not. After all, one would have to assume that Ban will be building way more vertical than these individual houses. But we would warmly welcome a small village of Ban babies if that's the way he wants it. Here's a shot of the site as it stands now:

· Shigeru Ban Architects [shigerubanarchitects.com]
· Metal Shutter Houses [Official Site]