Waterborne: Christo and Jeanne-Claude’s Floating Piers on Lake Iseo
From June 18 to July 3, 2016, 100 kilometers east of Milan and 200 kilometers west of Venice, thousands of people will walk on water. The Floating Piers by Christo and Jeanne-Claude will deploy 70,000 square meters of shimmering yellow fabric above a modular floating dock system of 220,000 high-density polyethylene cubes to create a temporary, three-kilometer walkway across the surface of Lake Iseo, connecting the mainland to the islands of Monte Isola and San Paolo.
The piers will be 16 meters wide and approximately 40 centimeters high, with sloping sides. Visitors will experience the artwork by walking from Sulzano to Monte Isola and over to San Paolo. The mountains surrounding the lake will also offer a bird’s-eye view of the project, revealing unnoticed angles and perspectives.
The Floating Piers will be Christo and Jeanne-Claude’s first large scale project since they realized The Gates in 2005 and will draw upon their established history of projects in Italy, including Wrapped Fountain and Wrapped Medieval Tower in Spoleto, 1968; Wrapped Monuments in Milan, 1970; and The Wall–Wrapped Roman Wall in Rome, 1973–74. 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 recycled.
This book presents rich photographic coverage of The Floating Piers alongside sketches, models, documents and designs, revealing the process behind this waterborne work of art. Incorporating everything from approval procedures to the manufacture of fabric and anchoring elements, it testifies not only to Christo and Jeanne-Claude’s unique creative imagination but also to the immense technical, bureaucratic, and logistical feats that allowed the concept to take float.