The impact (both positive and negative) that the built environment can have on our health has long been a subject for discussion and contemplation. (Indeed, it's the nominal focus of Iain Sinclair's latest book Living With Buildings And Walking With Ghosts, published by the Wellcome Trust in conjunction with an exhibition of the same name.) Designers of hospitals and hospices, for instance, have often sought to use architectural aesthetics and interior design to create calming environments that can mitigate against the trauma of ill health.
However, I'd never heard of an architect claiming that his creation could prevent ageing and death until I came across Shusaku Arakawa and Bioscleave House (Life Extending Villa). His declaration was no doubt somewhat tongue in cheek, but he evidently believed that design could have demonstrable positive effects on the body. Quite whether it would be worth living in something that resembles a CBeebies character's LSD dream is another matter.