The Bondi Gym
‘Health today is not so much a biological imperative linked to survival as a social imperative linked to status. It is not so much a basic value as it is a form of prestige display.’. Jean Baudrillard
This project is a critique of the modern day gym and questions its position and use in society. The gym has its roots in health and well being, but in recent times the gym has become a place of narcissism, vanity and status with the activities undertaken in them often having negative health effects.
Gyms have become shiny sterilised boxes that seek to give off an image of health and radiation. This project however questions this approach and asks, “what would happen if the gym culture would create its own architecture?”
For the developed phase of this project I presented the gym as a counterpoint to the shiny new surf club and pristine beach of North Bondi. The beach promotes the worship of the sun and body but there is a phase that exists before the beach, it is the attainment of the perfect body. The gym represents this phase quite literally as the grimy underbelly of the beach scene.
The building seeks to heighten the sense of self by being devoid of external distraction, the few ornamental features and views to the outside world in place are done sparingly and are intended to heighten the subversive, almost otherworldly feeling of the space. This surreal atmosphere is a reaction to the surreal nature of gym culture; body dysmorphia, steroids, perfection, obsession they are all a surreal sense of self and are thus reflected in the architecture.