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Saturday, June 18, 2016

Art installation that invites you to walk on water!

Compiled by TeamIAnD
Info & Images courtesy: thefloatingpiers(dot)com
Read Time: 2 mins

concept drawing of the floating pier
Drawing 2014 in two parts - 15" x 96" and 42 x 96" Pencil, charcoal, pastel, wax crayon, enamel paint, hand-drawn map, cut-out photographs by Wolfgang Volz, fabric sample and tape Photo: André Grossmann © 2014 Christo 

Starting today – June 18 through July 3, 2016, more than half a million people are expected to walk their way from Sulzano to Monte Isola and to the island of San Paolo on the ‘Floating Piers’ that rise just above the waters of Northern Italy’s Lake Iseo…


100,000 square meters of shimmering yellow fabric, carried by a modular floating dock system of 220,000 high-density polyethylene cubes, undulate with the movement of the waves as a live art project conceptualized 46 years ago comes to fruition.

concept drawing of the floating pier
(l)Collage 2014- 22" x 17" Pencil, wax crayon, enamel paint, photograph by Wolfgang Volz, technical maps, fabric sample and tape Photo: André Grossmann © 2014 Christo (r)Installation of the Piers, June 2016 Photo: Wolfgang Volz

Artists Christo and Late Jeanne-Claude, who always worked on creating large participative public art projects eliciting joy and beauty without charging any viewing fees, conceptualized this installation in the year 1970.  With Jeanne-Claude no more, Christo has fulfilled this high precision engineering feat by working with a large team over the last six months eliciting the expertise of sea divers, marine engineers and the like.

installation of the floating piers
Installation of the Piers, June 2016 Photo: Wolfgang Volz

Finding Lake Iseo to be the most inspiring location, 100 kilometres east of Milan and 200 kilometres west of Venice, the a 3-kilometre-long walkway extends across the lake, connecting three islands. People can now walk to the island of Monte Isola, which is otherwise only accessible by boat.

concept drawing of the floating pier
Drawing 2016 in two parts - 15" x 96" and 42 x 96" Pencil, charcoal, pastel, wax crayon, enamel paint, cut-out photographs by Wolfgang Volz, hand-drawn map and fabric sample. Photo: André Grossmann © 2016 Christo

The piers are 16 metres wide and approximately 35 centimetres high with sloping sides that enhance the experience of walking on water and not on a bridge of some kind. 


high density cubes that constitute the floating pier
At a factory in Fondotoce at Lago Maggiore, 200,000 high-density polyethylene cubes are manufactured over a period of eight months before delivery to project work site in Montecolino, January 2016 Photo: Wolfgang Volz

diver connects a rope to install the pier into place
A diver connects a rope made of ultra-high-molecular-weight polyethylene (UHMWPE), covered with a polyester protective layer with a breaking load of 20 metric tons, to one of the anchors on the lake bed to keep the piers in place, March 2016 Photo: Wolfgang Volz

installing the felt cover on the pier
Workers install the felt that will cover the floating cubes before the yellow fabric is installed, May 2016 Photo: Wolfgang Volz

manufacturing fabric
At the textile manufacturer Setex, 90,000 square meters of shimmering yellow fabric are produced, Greven, Germany, August 2014 Photo: Wolfgang Volz

Especially developed high-density polyethylene cubes were manufactured over a period of eight months, assembled together and installed to form the walkway. An insulation material covers the floating cubes before being finished with the final yellow fabric, which continues along 2.5 kilometres of pedestrian streets in Sulzano and Peschiera Maraglio.  “The light and water will transform the bright yellow fabric to shades of red and gold throughout the sixteen days,” says Christo.

floating pier encircling the island of San Paolo
Workers start to encircle the island of San Paolo with the first floating elements, April 2016 Photo: Wolfgang Volz
Christo testing the floating pier
During the life-size test at Montecolino, Christo is obviously delighted as the piers undulate with the movement of the waves, Lake Iseo, October 2015 Photo: Wolfgang Volz

“Those who experience the Floating Piers will feel like they are walking on water – or perhaps the back of a whale. There are no tickets, no openings, no reservations and no owners. The Floating Piers belong to everyone.” He concludes. 

After the 16-day exhibition, all components will be removed and industrially recycled.

3 comments :

  1. Marco Bianchi·Consultant at OST EnergyJune 18, 2016 at 6:26 PM

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  2. A live 24/7 webcam here: http://www.giornaledibrescia.it/sebino-e-franciacorta/the-floating-piers-la-webcam-in-diretta-24-ore-su-24-1.3097475

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  3. The same live 24/7 webcam link on YouTube - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CdBKNCPKBE8

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