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Future Urban Sports

Part 2 Project 1999
Richard Cater
University of Westminster | UK

The Future Urban Sports concept evolved from the study of the contemporary
An exploration of exercise culture, real landscapes, virtual landscapes,
imagery, equipment and containment.
Controlled, artificial, environments of isolation, absorption and

A competition for a water sports centre at Redcliff Wharf in Bristol was
used as a starting point.
The Rowing Ergometer‚, evolved as a response,
Designed to literally elevate the status of training to that of event. A
de-mountable, flexible, piece of kit‚, which could be used by a lone
sculler, a pair, a four, an eight, or inter connected to create the Virtual

The Vario Perpetual Gym Hall‚ acknowledges the contemporary condition of
not only being active, but being seen to be active.
The Perpetual Gym has a cladding system of responsive hydraulic panels
based upon the convertible roof structure of the Mercedes Benz, CLK. The
cladding responds proportionally to the activity within.

The Cinematic Gym Hall‚, is dominated by the screen.
The venue for Bristols‚ perpetual indoor marathon or the re-release of
„Chariots of Fire.
Raised platforms reverse the role of participant to viewer. An external
billboard advertises the latest release.

Future Urban Sports is a factory of energy routed to its site. An angled
artificial ground plain.....Visit the macrobiotic restaurant, the isotonic
bar or the Faith Healer, vital ingredients of contemporary competition.

Richard Cater

In the early part of the academic year Richard established an interest in two kinds of late 20th.cent icons, the machines of industrialised leisure ( for rowing, running, lifting swimming etc), and the car, in particular the remarkable choreography performed by the folding hard-top of the Mercedes CLK. .Initially he constructed numerous collages exploring the aesthetic potential of individual pieces of machinery, part sculpture, part explorations of the surreal aspects of the factories of modern fitness.
He then compressed these speculations into an orthodox architectural programme, a fitness centre on a piece of derelict land in the docks at Bristol. We particularly enjoyed this work because he took the less fashionable route in designing a building, it might have been easier for him to let the project remain as seductive, perhaps ambiguous imagery as an array of installations in a selection of surreal collisions, this may have guaranteed a higher level of sex appeal in the work. However his attempts at technical transfer and making proposals for the resolution of various programmatic criteria within both an architectural idea for the building on the site and the exotic implications of the collaging we believe has great merit. It is also a reflection of his working method, which is to be simultaneously passionate about concept and thier possible techniques of resolution.

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