christo's floating piers open to the public in lake iseo, italy
 

christo's floating piers open to the public in lake iseo, italy

christos ‘floating piers’ installation is finally open to the public. the highly-anticipated reveal sees 100,000 square meters of shimmering yellow fabric wrap a floating dock that connects various points on italy’s lake iseo. undulating with the movement of the waves, visitors can now experience ‘the floating piers’ as they walk from sulzano to monte isola and to the island of san paolo, which it completely encircles. the 3 kilometer-long walkway extends clear across the water, with surrounding mountains offering a bird’s-eye view of a golden network of passageways that lead in and around the town. the fabric continues along 1.5 kilometers of pedestrian streets in sulzano and peschiera maraglio.

floating piers christo and jeanne-claude
‘the floating piers’ opens to the public on june 18th
photo by wolfgang volz © christo 

 

 

the concept for ‘the floating piers’ was conceived by christo and jeanne-claude — the artist’s creative and life partner — in 1970. however, the couple originally did not know which river or lake would best suit the project. early, unrealized renditions proposed a 2,000 meter-long inflated pier on the delta of the rio de la plata in argentina. by 1995, the idea was still active in the artists’ minds. they suggested the creation of two floating piers, 150 meters-long and covered in fabric, which would connect two artificial islands in tokyo bay and continue through odaiba park. this iteration was also unrealized following the denial of a permit. 

christo floating piers
pedestrians begin to make their way along the fabric in the streets 
photo by wolfgang volz © christo 

 

 

jeanne-claude passed away in november 2009, but christo continues the couple’s monumental practice. in 2014, the artist and his team scouted the lakes of northern italy and found lake iseo to be the most inspiring location for the project. the exhibition is presented for just 16 days, following which, all components will be removed and industrially recycled.

floating piers christo and jeanne-claude
the towns of sulzano and peschiera maraglio are covered in yellow fabric 
photo by wolfgang volz © christo

 

 

the artists’ aim has always been to create works of art for the public to experience and enjoy, without charging any viewing fees. ‘like all of our projects, ‘the floating piers’ is absolutely free and accessible 24 hours a day, weather permitting,’ christo says. ‘there are no tickets, no openings, no reservations and no owners. the floating piers are an extension of the street and belong to everyone.’

 

see sketches and drawings of ‘the floating piers’ by christo in our previous coverage of the installation here

floating piers christo and jeanne-claude
‘the floating piers’ photographed the day prior to its opening 
photo by wolfgang volz © christo 

floating piers christo and jeanne-claude
on the morning of june 16, the unfurling of 100,000 square meters of shimmering yellow fabric is nearly completed
photo by wolfgang volz © christo 

floating piers christo and jeanne-claude
installation in progress on june 16th
photo by wolfgang volz © christo 

floating piers christo and jeanne-claude
the final stages of construction take place 
photo by wolfgang volz © christo 

floating piers christo and jeanne-claude
the towns are lined with shimmering fabric 
photo by wolfgang volz © christo 

floating piers christo and jeanne-claude
the original concept for ‘the floating piers’ was conceived in 1970
photo by wolfgang volz © christo 

floating piers christo and jeanne-claude
when the exhibition finishes, all components of the installation will be removed and industrially recycled
photo by wolfgang volz © christo 

floating piers christo and jeanne-claude
the installation is free for the public to experience and enjoy
photo by wolfgang volz © christo 

floating piers christo and jeanne-claude
the fabric wrapping on the water in its finishing stages
photo by wolfgang volz © christo 

floating piers christo and jeanne-claude
on june 16th, work is nearly completed on ‘the floating piers’ 
photo by wolfgang volz © christo 

floating piers christo and jeanne-claude
in progress: june 15th 
photo by wolfgang volz © christo 

floating piers christo and jeanne-claude
workers unfurl 100,000 square meters of yellow fabric on the piers and pedestrian streets
photo by wolfgang volz © christo 

floating piers christo and jeanne-claude
installation progress continues on the evening of june 15th
photo by wolfgang volz © christo 

floating piers christo and jeanne-claude
workers begin to run yellow fabric through streets in sulzano and peschiera maraglio
photo by wolfgang volz © christo 

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