Alberto Biagetti and Laura Baldassari’s Body Building project promises to challenge our expectations, and it delivers on that score right off the bat. With a title like that, one might reasonably expect a bodybuilder or two somewhere in the piece. Some pumped pectorals perhaps. A few oiled-up obliques or buff biceps. But no. Curated by Maria Cristina Didero, Body Building features almost no over-developed musculature (unless you look very, very closely), and while the gym that Biagetti and Baldassari have installed at Atelier Biagetti will be familiar to anyone with a passing interest in fitness, it’s quite unlike any gym you’ve been to before.
This place is described by the designers as an “anti-gym”, taking the standard, purely functional equipment and reinventing it as aesthetic objects. It is about taking the standard form and developing it into something better, something extraordinary, through careful application and discipline, much like a bodybuilder does with their own physique. Gymnast’s rings become a neon chandelier of aluminium and brass. Steel dumbbells form the base of a pink crystal coffee table. A pommel horse, usually bearing the brunt of sweaty and dynamic exertions, instead becomes an object of repose. This handmade collection of objects was installed at the studio during Milan Design Week, however, so much fun was had that the installation will remain viewable until the end of the month. Gym doors shut 31 May.