Research indicates that scenic, natural environments positively impact human health and mental well-being . But what about the impact of man-made architecture and various architectural styles on human cognition and well-being - has any empirical research investigated this? Are there any arguments in cognitive science that support the claim that we respond differently to different architectural surroundings? Moreover, is there anything known about the validity of the concept of universal/objective aesthetics in architecture, grounded on neurobiology?
Specifically, I'm interested in comparing the impact of various architectural styles and their inherent philosophies on our cognition (health, creativity, pro-social behavior ...). Personally, I noticed that I feel much more calm, focused and creative in cities with classical architecture and its many derivatives, e.g. historical Vienna or Venice - the architecture itself seems to impact my perception of the world. In contrast, more contemporary architecture that represents, roughly, primarily pragmatism - think megalopolis like NYC or industrial Chicago - invokes in me much more negative feelings of alienation and nihilism, to put it shortly. I wonder how common this is, and to what extent it could be explained with nature rather than nurture.