For sale: an ec­cen­tric home that claims to ex­tend your life

The Daily Telegraph - Property - - Front Page -

in­ter­view with The New York Times, Arakawa com­pared him­self to the first man on the moon, say­ing: “If Neil Arm­strong were here, he would say, ‘This is even bet­ter!’” De­spite the fact that it re­sem­bles a play­ground, when it was first built, chil­dren were banned and vis­i­tors were asked to sign a waiver be­fore they en­tered.

Their idea was that your body will be­come more aware of its sur­round­ings, and work harder to main­tain equi­lib­rium in this ex­tra­or­di­nary en­vi­ron­ment that would then stim­u­late the im­mune sys­tem, and thus stop age­ing. Af­ter Arakawa – who rarely used his first name – died in 2010, Gins said that she would con­tinue her work to prove that “age­ing can be out­lawed”.

There are two bed­rooms and a study that sit off the main, lu­nar-feel­ing area, as well as a study and a lux­u­ri­ous bath­room with a large bath at its cen­tre.

The house took eight years, cost more than $2mil­lion (£1,539,946) to build, and was fin­ished in 2008. It used Ja­pa­nese tech­niques such as mak­ing the floor with hard­ened soil and a lit­tle ce­ment. The walls were made us­ing ma­te­ri­als such as me­tal and poly­car­bon­ate. The elab­o­rate bath­tub was sold to the cou­ple for a frac­tion of the orig­i­nal cost by a sup­plier be­cause he was so taken with their child­like en­thu­si­asm.

It fol­lowed on from sev­eral “re­versible des­tiny lofts”, they built in Mi­taka, Tokyo, which were lived in by el­derly peo­ple. Arakawa de­scribed how they would slither across the bul­bous floor like snakes, which months later had boosted their im­mune sys­tems.

It is un­clear how much of Arakawa and Gins’ ideas are sim­ply one large sur­re­al­ist art project (they were pro­tégés of Mar­cel Duchamp), or a very elab­o­rate joke. But their idea was to up­end the way we think about what our homes should look like, and bring a play­ful touch to the way we live.

If you are on a quest for eter­nal life – and are happy with the sear­ingly bright walls, strange win­dow place­ment, lack of doors and hav­ing a lu­nar land­scape for a liv­ing room – Bioscle­ave House is on the mar­ket for $2.495mil­lion with Brown Har­ris Stevens.

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