Follow the yellow fabric road

September 1st, 2016 / By: / Projects

Like all of Christo’s and Jeanne-Claude’s installations, The Floating Piers was an egalitarian project, free and accessible 24 hours a day, weather permitting. It was funded entirely through the sale of Christo’s original works of art. Photos: Wolfgang Volz.
Like all of Christo’s and Jeanne-Claude’s installations, The Floating Piers was an egalitarian project, free and accessible 24 hours a day, weather permitting. It was funded entirely through the sale of Christo’s original works of art. Photo: Wolfgang Volz.

Renowned fabric artist Christo has worked his magic again—this time on picturesque Lake Iseo in Northern Italy. The Floating Piers transformed the landscape of the lake and the surrounding area for 16 days between June and July 2016.

First conceived in 1970 by Christo and his wife and artistic partner Jeanne-Claude, who passed away in 2009, The Floating Piers gives visitors the opportunity to “walk on water” on a three-kilometer-long floating pathway.

The walkway consisted of 100,000 square meters of shimmering yellow fabric attached to a modular floating dock system of 220,000 high-density polyethylene cubes. The piers were 16 meters wide and approximately 35 centimeters high with sloping sides. The outer cubes were filled with 2.7 million liters of water. Two hundred anchors weighing 5.5 tons each held them in place, attached by 37,000 meters of rope.

The fabric was assembled by sewing panels together on the floating dock, using portable sewing machines. It was attached to the dock system with grommets and carabiners hooked to a cable under the edge of the floating piers.

Visitors could take a stroll across Lake Iseo and then on land as the fabric continued along 2.5 kilometers of streets in the towns of Sulzano and Peschiera Maraglio. The experience was more than a simple walk,
as light and water transformed the yellow fabric to shades of red and gold.

The project took two years to construct. After the exhibition, all components were removed and industrially recycled. For more, visit www.thefloatingpiers.com.

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