Reversible Destiny Lofts by Madeline Gins and Shusaku Arakawa

The Reversible Destiny Lofts MITAKA -In Memory of Helen Keller- were the first residential works of ‘procedural architecture’ built by Arakawa and Madeline Gins, and it is the first ‘undying residence’ or the first Apartments designed with Immortality in Mind. Completed by two world-famous Japanese artists and architects in 2005, some units are now used as rental housing, while others are used by many people to put on educational and cultural programs.

Reversible Destiny Lofts Technical Information

Most people, in choosing a new home, look for comfort: a serene atmosphere, smooth walls and floors, a logical layout. Nonsense. People, particularly old people, shouldn’t relax and sit back to help them decline. They should be in an environment that stimulates their senses and invigorates their lives.

– Shusaku Arakawa

Reversible Destiny Lofts article
Reversible Destiny Lofts by Madeline Gins and Shusaku Arakawa

To provide some background on the artists/architects/poets, Arakawa and Gins founded the Architectural Body Research Foundation that actively collaborates with a multidisciplinary team of practitioners studying experimental biology, neuroscience, quantum physics, experimental phenomenology, and medicine.

Do you want to live in an apartment or house that can help you determine the nature and extent of interactions between you and the universe?

– Shusaku Arakawa

This is one of many big questions posed by Reversible Destiny, a foundation established to extend the human lifespan via architectural design.

Reversible Destiny Lofts by Madeline Gins and Shusaku Arakawa Reversible Destiny Lofts by Madeline Gins and Shusaku Arakawa Reversible Destiny Lofts by Madeline Gins and Shusaku Arakawa

The lofts have spherical rooms, undulating concrete floors riddled with bumps, and candy-colored walls. Poles and ladders run from floor to ceiling in unexpected places, and electrical outlets dangle from above. Each apartment resembles a playground designed without regard for child safety regulations. The lofts have spherical rooms, undulating concrete floors riddled with bumps, and candy-colored walls. Poles and ladders run from floor to ceiling in unexpected places, and electrical outlets dangle from above. Each apartment resembles a playground designed without regard for child safety regulations.

1. As you step into this unit fully believe you are walking into your own immune system.

2. Treat each room as if it were you yourself, as if it were a direct extension of you.

– 2 of the 22 instructions belonging to the Directions For Use of the Reversible Destiny Lofts

The Reversible Destiny Lofts—In Memory of Helen Keller are the first permanently habitable works of procedural architecture, realized in pre-cast concrete, reinforced concrete, and steel frame construction. The diverse color palette woven throughout the structure has inspired the Japanese novelist Setouchi Jakuchou to refer to the building as an “ultra chromatic undying house.”

“These lofts make vivid to their residents the operative tendencies and coordinating skills essential to and determinative of human thought and behavior, which means to say, they manage, by how they are constructed, to reveal to their residents the ins and outs of what makes a person tick.”

“By how it is constructed, through how its elements and features are juxtaposed, the Reversible Destiny Lofts – Mitaka (In Memory of Helen Keller) invites positive and constructive action. What could be more optimistic and constructive than a living space that, in every way, both prods and coaxes its residents to continue living for an indefinitely long period?! That is what the term reversible destiny signals loudly and clearly. Each reversible destiny loft has structured into it the capacity to help residents live long and ample lives.”

Reversible Destiny Lofts by Madeline Gins and Shusaku ArakawaReversible Destiny Lofts by Madeline Gins and Shusaku Arakawa Reversible Destiny Lofts by Madeline Gins and Shusaku Arakawa

Hanging furniture
As there is only a few flat ground to accommodate ordinary furniture and stock wares, once moving in, a new resident is soon to find that (s)he is provided, with Arakawa and Gins’s grace, with countless eyebolts on the ceiling instead, which encourage to use the ceiling as a new ground to put your staff on.

Reversible Destiny Lofts by Madeline Gins and Shusaku Arakawa

Reversible Destiny Lofts by Madeline Gins and Shusaku Arakawa

Shape = Structure
There are no interior columns; the whole room is big pillars.

About Arakawa and Gins

Madeline Helen Arakawa Gins (1941 – 2014) was an American artist, architect, and poet.

Shusaku Arakawa (1936 – 2010) was a Japanese artist and architect. He had a personal and artistic partnership with writer and artist Madeline Gins that spanned more than four decades.

Beginning in 1963, they collaborated on the research project The Mechanism of Meaning which was then completed by 1973. This research project and the architectural projects that stem from it, both built and unbuilt ones, formed the basis of the 1997 Arakawa + Gins: Reversible Destiny exhibition at the Guggenheim Museum SoHo.

The panels appear as a constellation of views concerning the nature of meaning that made be characterized in broad stroke as “holistic” or as entailments of a holistic view concerning meaning.

Other works from Arakawa & Gins