Palaestra: The 12 Indispensable Principles of Gym Design
by Scott Godwin
The world wants to exercise at home and in small-group gyms now more than ever. Infectious diseases, miserable commutes, the growth of in-home work and the advance of technology are all leading factors. We are desperate for healthy activity and for well-built and attractive places to get it. What we also need is more 3rd places. We have homes and we have workplaces, but 3rd places, like churches or coffee shops, outside of work and home are important for maintaining health. They’re a place outside of our main places.
Gyms are an especially important type of 3rd place, which in addition to aiding physical fitness, can create many years of community, long-lasting friendships, convenience, and / or a reprieve from the routine stresses of work and home. Even within a single home, a gym can be a 3rd place, standing outside both physically and emotionally from the home itself. From the times of the ancient Greek gyms called paleastras, places to exercise and socialize have been a crucial part of the good life. There’s nothing worse than a gym done wrong- bad lighting, musty, poor air flow, the list goes on. The way a gym is built can affect health as much or more than the exercise in it, so take the time to build it right.