Electron/proton transfers in water proceeding from ground/excited states are the elementary reactions of chemistry. These reactions of an iconic class of molecules─polypyridineRu(II)─are now controlled by capturing or releasing three of them with hosts that are shape-switchable. Reversible erection or collapse of the host walls allows such switchability. Some reaction rates are suppressed by factors of up to 120 by inclusive binding of the metal complexes. This puts nanometric coordination chemistry in a box that can be open or shut as necessary. Such second-sphere complexation can allow considerable control to be exerted on photocatalysis, electrocatalysis, and luminescent sensing involving polypyridineRu(II) compounds. The capturing states of hosts are symmetry-matched to guests for selective binding and display submicromolar affinities. A perching complex, which is an intermediate state between capturing and releasing states, is also demonstrated.