Designed by Carlo Ratti Associati in Turin and developed in collaboration with the fitness equipment manufacturer Technogym, the non-profit architecture group Terreform ONE and the urban regeneration institute URBEM, the Paris Navigating Gym will move along the Seine River by harnessing energy from passengers’ workouts.
The gym is on a 20-meter long vessel that can host up to 45 people and the fitness area features ARTIS machines that harness human energy and make it available to the electrical engines of the vessel. By exercising on bikes and cross trainers, guests will contribute to powering the boat, which in turn will sail along the Seine on its route through the city, providing access to anybody who wants it.
Carlo Ratti, director of the MIT Senseable City Lab and a founding partner of Carlo Ratti Associati, points out that the Paris Navigating Gym will provide users with a tangible experience of what lies behind the often abstract notion of “electric power”. In fact, the augmented-reality screens installed on the boat will show guests both the quantity of energy they produced with their workout, and data about the Seine’s environmental conditions, tracked in real time by sensors incorporated on the vessel.
Encased within a transparent glass covering, open in the summer, the gym will allow an extraordinary view of the urban panorama. Moreover, at night, the boat can also be used for parties and celebrations.
The Paris Navigating Gym investigates the potential of harnessing human power, at the same time of producing a new urban experience and envisioning ways to further integrate the river in the city’s mobility infrastructure.
Ilona Catani Scarlett