Floating Piers: Walking on Water

Christo - The Floating Piers (PROJECT FOR LAKE ISEO, ITALY) Drawing 2015 in two parts 65 x 42" and 65 x 15" (165 x 106.6 cm and 165 x 38 cm) Pencil, charcoal, enamel paint, cut-out photographs by Wolfgang Volz, map, fabric sample and tape Photo: André Grossmann © 2015 Christo

Christo – The Floating Piers
(PROJECT FOR LAKE ISEO, ITALY)
Drawing 2015 in two parts
65 x 42″ and 65 x 15″ (165 x 106.6 cm and 165 x 38 cm)
Pencil, charcoal, enamel paint, cut-out photographs by Wolfgang Volz, map, fabric sample and tape
Photo: André Grossmann
© 2015 Christo

Originally conceived by artists Christo and Jeanne-Claude in 1970, The Floating Piers has come to life for a 16-day exhibition this summer at Lake Iseo in Italy, located 100 kilometers east of Milan and 200 kilometers west of Venice.

From June 18 through July 3, 2016 (weather permitting) visitors can experience the work of art by walking on it from Sulzano to Monte Isola and to the island of San Paola, framed by The Floating Piers rising just above the surface of the water.

“Those who experience The Floating Piers will feel like they are walking on water – or perhaps the back of a whale,” said Christo.

The piers are 16 meters wide–a modular floating dock system of 220,000 polyethylene cubes carrying 100,000 square meters of shimmering yellow fabric–a fantastical walkway that stretches for three kilometers across Lake Iseo, undulating with the waves.

The yellow fabric moves from the water to pedestrian streets in Sulzano and Peschiera Maraglio for an additional 2.5 kilometers. Views from the mountains surrounding the lake offer intriguing angles and perspectives of the exhibition, further enhanced by the ever-changing light.

“The light and water will transform the bright yellow fabric to shades of red and gold throughout the sixteen days,” said Christo.

The Floating Piers is Christo’s first large-scale project since Christo and Jeanne-Claude brought The Gates to life in New York City’s Central Park in 2005, and since Jeanne-Claude passed away in 2009.

The Floating Piers is funded solely through the sale of Christo’s original works of art, as with all of Christo and Jeanne-Claude’s projects.

“Like all of our projects, The Floating Piers is absolutely free and accessible 24 hours a day, weather permitting,” said Christo. “There are no tickets, no openings, no reservations and no owners. The Floating Piers are an extension of the street and belong to everyone.”

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

Photo: Wolfgang Volz © 2016 Christo

Photo: Wolfgang Volz
© 2016 Christo

View an abundance of amazing photographs of the project in the design, installation and exhibition phases on The Floating Piers website. Follow the project on Facebook, Instagram (floatingpiers) and Twitter (#thefloatingpiers).

Looking for even more inspiration? Visit the Christo and Jeanne-Claude website.