Exercise as Spiritual Expression




Staying in Hong Kong once, in a room on the 19th floor, you could see nothing from the window but the facade of the building opposite. At dawn, on one of the balconies, a man was doing his daily Tai Chi. His only company on the balcony was a tank with a single fish. This scene reflects one aspect of Chinese life in the early 21st century. The need for exercise and meditation is ever-present. Relaxation and physical activity provide a healthy balance to the sensorial intensity of urban life. As Alessandro Mendini says, ‘the world is violent and the home has to be protective’. Nowadays, physical activity is increasingly undertaken indoors or underground in a gym or club, mainly because of the lack of balconies in apartments. Adding the original Fandeck will provide a personal outside space at minimal cost. You can exercise on your balcony : jogging, cycling, push-ups, boxing while enjoying the view. Fandeck is easy to insert in windows greater than 900mm wide. The frame bolts to the concrete; the unfolding action is motorized and secured by cable. As Luo Li says ‘design and construction of the interior is the ‘backyard’, but nothing replaces the actual outside space with scenery’.

Exercise in Spiritual Expression

Client: Beijing Biennale

Date: 2004

Design team: Thierry Lacoste, David Stevenson

Photography / images: Lacoste+Stevenson Architects