Human-Powered River Gymnasiums for New York
The motion starved environments we live in are the antithesis of our being. Perhaps the most primal of all human function is locomotion. We need to move more!
Our concept encapsulates a new typology for the contemporary urban gym. It is intended to challenge our innate proprioceptive and multi-planer locomotive abilities while synchronously altering the surroundings. The River Gym will fulfill one of the major contemporary fitness goals of “functional training”. This training protocol will exploit the inherent disequilibrium of floatation devices. Often the average urbanite exercising at the gym performs controlled repetitive single plane movements using industrial fitness equipment. All of this energy is summarily dissipated and ultimately exhausted for the sake of a single individual’s wellbeing. Other potentials exist to harness this vast human expenditure of caloric energy. Why not have the simple transfer of this workout vigor supply New York with needed supplemental transport and amenities? How can we extend and capitalize on this untapped group potential? Into what form will this new kind of gym evolve?
By continuing to provide vital health amenities, the River Gym can leave the realm of the glass box and become a useful multi-planar kinetic space. Envision your gym becoming a machine of human propulsion that helps purify water, provide spectacular views, and transport less-motivated citizens. Why should gym members be forced to stare restlessly at a mirror, television, or static streetscape when their entire body is active? Imagine this new fitness center as a series of many soft floating micro-islands revolving on a fifteen-minute river loop with an exquisite ever-changing panoramic view. Each River Gym vessel varies in size and critical mass population. Therefore some vessels will need only a few members to boost the craft on its predetermined computer navigated loop. Other larger floating units would require a superior sustaining population of club members and would only be used during peak hours.
These River Gyms would travel circuitously along the Hudson and East Rivers. Fitted with onboard purification devices, they would help mitigate water pollution. Equally as significant, they would ease the transportation burdens on various ferry lines and carry volunteering commuters in tow. The benefit of extra passengers increases the vessels’ mass and amplifies the intensity of the exercise. Along the edges of each river body, a modest docking facility would serve members as a point of departure with lockers, a reception desk, health food kiosks, etc. The idea is that you can easily access your River Gym vessel to travel to and from multiple points in the city.
The notion of transforming wasted human mechanical energy into a useful kinetic gymnasium is unique. The multiple benefits of increased transportation, water purification, caloric energy expenditure, and superior changing views is invigorating. Our proposal is intended to redefine the urban gym in a cost-effective and environmentally friendly manner. This is the kind of munificent vision for which the great city of New York is renowned.
Entry for New York Magazine, Original Gym Concept Competition WINNER
Media for ‘The River Gym’:by