Walk on water across Italy's Lake Iseo thanks to Christo's Floating Piers creation

by Kim Megson | 20 Jun 2016

A pair of artists have given visitors to Italy’s Lake Iseo the opportunity to walk on water.

The duo, known as Christo and Jeanne-Claude, have created a temporary 3km-long installation called Floating Piers, which stretches from the commune of Sulzano in the province of Brescia to the island of San Paolo.

Created using 100,000sq m of shimmering yellow fabric – carried just above the water by a modular floating dock system of 220,000 high-density polyethylene cubes – the piers bob gently with the movement of the waves. The walkways are 16 metres wide and around 35cm high with sloping sides. Once they reach dry land, they continue along 2.5km of pedestrian streets.

The Floating Piers concept was conceived by the artists in 1970. Jeanne-Claude passed away in 2009, and Christo continued to work on the project, working with an international team to scout the lakes of Northern Italy for a suitably inspiring and tranquil location. Funding was raised through the sale of Christo’s original works of art.

“Those who experience The Floating Piers will feel like they are walking on water – or perhaps the back of a whale,” said Christo. “The light and water will transform the bright yellow fabric to shades of red and gold throughout the days it is open.”

The Floating Piers will close after 3 July 2016, after which they will be dismantled and industrially recycled.

The project is the latest work by the artists that tries to create imaginative new public spaces open to all 24 hours a day.

According to 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.”

Floating Piers  Lake Isei  Italy  walk on water  Christo and Jeanne-Claude 
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Artist Christo plans a three kilometre-long shimmering yellow floating pier around Lake Iseo, Italy

A pair of artists have given visitors to Italy’s Lake Iseo the opportunity to walk on water. The duo, known as Christo and Jeanne-Claude, have created a temporary 3km-long installation called Floating Piers, which stretches from the commune of Sulzano in the province of Brescia to the island of San Paolo. Created using 100,000sq m of shimmering yellow fabric – carried just above the water by a modular floating dock
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The 3km-long installation stretches from the commune of Sulzano to the island of San Paolo
/ Wolfgang Volz
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