The Floating Piers, Project for Lake Iseo, Italy

 

Christo is best known for his large scale projects that he developed with his partner Jeanne-Claude, who passed away in 2009. The artists are known to choose public spaces and modify them in order to draw attention to them. “We borrow space and create gentle disturbances for a few days,” Christo once said. “We inherit everything that is inherent in the space to become part of the work of art. All our projects are like fabulous expeditions.”

Now Christo is working on his first large scale project since he and Jeanne- Claude realized The Gates in 2005. A Project where he will reimagine Italy’s Lake Iseo from June 18 to July 3, 2016.

 

Aerial view of the project’s building yard on the Montecolino peninsula (right) and the temporary storage on Lake Iseo (left), February 2016
Photo: Wolfgang Volz
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

Christo found the beautiful and inspiring location after scouting most of Italy’s northern lakes, together with Vladimir Yavachev, Operating Manager and Wolfgang Volz, Project Manager.  Lake Iseo is located 100 kilometers east of Milan and 200 kilometers west of Venice.

70,000 square meters of shimmering yellow fabric, carried by a modular floating dock system of 200,000 high-density polyethylene cubes, will undulate with the movement of the waves as The Floating Piers rise just above the surface of the water.

Visitors will experience this work of art by walking on it from Sulzano to Monte Isola and to the island of San Paolo, which it encircles. The mountains surrounding the lake will offer a bird’s-eye view of The Floating Piers, exposing unnoticed angles and altering perspectives.

A 3-kilometer-long walkway will be created as The Floating Piers extend across the water of Lake Iseo. The piers will be 16 meters wide and approximately 50 centimeters high with sloping sides. The fabric will continue along 1.5 kilometers of pedestrian streets in Sulzano and Peschiera Maraglio.

As with all of Christo and Jeanne-Claude’s projects, The Floating Piers will be funded entirely through the sale of Christo’s original works of art. Moreover, after the 16-day exhibition, all components will be removed and industrially recycled.

Christo and Jeanne-Claude have a long history of creating projects in Italy: Wrapped Fountain and Wrapped Medieval Tower in Spoleto, 1968; Wrapped Monuments in Milan, 1970; and The Wall – Wrapped Roman Wall in Rome, 1973–74.

After over 40 years Christo is excited to be working in Italy again.

Pencil, wax crayon, enamel paint, photograph by Wolfgang Volz, technical data, fabric sample and tape
Photo: André Grossmann
© 2014 Christo