Christo: The Floating Piers
Project for Lake Iseo, Italy
June 18 to July 3, 2016 (weather permitting)
Christo is at it again. Despite his 80 years, he continues to be inspired to bring wonders to our environment on a large scale. The original concept for his latest work in progress, The Floating Piers, was conceived in 1970 together with Jeanne-Claude, who passed away in November 2009. Although without his life partner, Christo continues with his work on other major projects as well: Over The River and The Mastaba.
In 2014, Christo found Lake Iseo to be the most inspiring location for The Floating Piers project. Located about 60 miles east of Milan, this lake features an island, home to approximately 2000 residents who rely on water transportation with boats and ferries. Christo wants residents and visitors alike to be able to (temporarily) “walk on water.”
From June 18 to July 3, 2016, weather permitting, Italy’s Lake Iseo will be reimagined. 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.
In the spring and summer of 2014, Christo, Vladimir Yavachev – Operations Manager, Wolfgang Volz – Project Manager, and Josy Kraft – Registrar/Curator, scouted the lakes of Northern Italy. Along with Project Director Germano Celant, they found Lake Iseo to be the most inspiring location. Lake Iseo is located 100 kilometers east of Milan and 200 kilometers west of Venice.
The Floating Piers will be Christo’s first large scale project since Christo and Jeanne-Claude realized The Gates in 2005. 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. 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.
Get Involved! If you are 18 or older and are a EU citizen or hold an EU work permit, you can apply to become part of the project.
Watch a video of the Bloomberg interview with Christo where Christo talks about the project, his first large scale work since his wife and partner Jean-Claude passed away in 2009.
“Every human is unique in the world and they like to witness something unique.” – Christo