A House Not for Mere Mortals

Immortality House

Artists Madeline Gins and Arakawa say that their house in East Hampton, N.Y., opposes death and may extend life. Originally called the Bioscleave House (Lifespan Extending Villa), they say its architecture makes people use their bodies in unexpected ways to maintain equilibrium, and that will stimulate their immune systems.


The couple also built nine “reversible destiny” loft-style apartments in Mitaka, Japan.

The house on Long Island, which cost more than $2 million to build, is their first completed architectural work in the United States – and, as they see it, a turning point in their campaign to defeat mortality.

The house, which is still unoccupied, was commissioned in the late 1990s by a friend who sold the property to an anonymous group of investors after the project dragged on and costs mounted. But it is ready, Arakawa and Ms. Gins said, to begin rejuvenating whoever moves in.

In addition to the floor, which threatens to send the un-sure-footed hurtling into the sunken kitchen at the center of the house, the design features walls painted, somewhat disorientingly, in about 40 colors; multiple levels meant to induce the sensation of being in two spaces at once; windows at varying heights; oddly angled light switches and outlets; and an open flow of traffic, unhindered by interior doors or their adjunct, privacy.

All of it is meant to keep the occupants on guard. Comfort, the thinking goes, is a precursor to death; the house is meant to lead its users into a perpetually “tentative” relationship with their surroundings, and thereby keep them young.

A House Not for Mere Mortals from the New York Times

Immortality House Audio Slideshow

(Thanks to Earl and Rhonda Brown for the tip!)

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