Architect of Reversible Destiny Lofts Passed

The architect of a unique Loft project in Japan has passed away at 73 years young. Ironicly his lifes work was about defying death and aging.

His experimental work, done with wife Madeline Gins, sought to reverse the effects of aging by changing the design of architectural spaces. Their theory asserts that bodily degeneration occurs, at least in part, because our living spaces are too comfortable. The couple spent eight years and $2 million building a very unusual home in East Hampton, N.Y., that exemplified their notion that disorienting and challenging homes might prevent death.

The Reversible Destiny lofts, finished in 2005, cost about $6 million to build. Five of the nine lofts, which rent for $1,700 to $2,300 a month, have tenants.

A typical apartment has three or four rooms in the shapes of either a cylinder, a cube, or a sphere. Rooms surround a kitchen-living room combination with bumpy, undulating floors and floor-to-ceiling ladders and poles. Dozens of colors, from school-bus yellow to sky blue, cover the walls, ceilings and other surfaces.

Obituaries of Arakawa (who used only a single name) can be read here and here. To mark his passing, however, it’s worth revisiting an excellent 2009 story on his work by WSJ reporter Amir Efrati. He toured Arakawa’s anti-aging house and explored how the project unraveled thanks to an unlikely villain: Bernard Madoff.

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