The Floating Piers

Lake Iseo, Italy
2014-16

For sixteen days – June 18 through July 3, 2016 – Italy’s Lake Iseo was reimagined. 100,000 square meters of shimmering yellow fabric, carried by a modular floating dock system of 220,000 high-density polyethylene cubes, undulated with the movement of the waves as The Floating Piers rose just above the surface of the water.

Visitors were able to experience the work of art by walking on it from Sulzano to Monte Isola and to the island of San Paolo, which was framed by The Floating Piers. The mountains surrounding the lake offered a bird’s-eye view of The Floating Piers, exposing unnoticed angles and altering perspectives. Lake Iseo is located 100 kilometers east of Milan and 200 kilometers west of Venice.

“Like all our projects, The Floating Piers was absolutely free and open to the public,” said Christo. “There were no tickets, no openings, no reservations and no owners. The Floating Piers were an extension of the street and belonged to everyone.”

A 3-kilometer-long walkway was created as The Floating Piers extended across the water of Lake Iseo. The piers were 16 meters wide and approximately 35 centimeters high with sloping sides. The fabric continued along 2.5 kilometers of pedestrian streets in Sulzano and Peschiera Maraglio.

“Those who experienced The Floating Piers felt like they were walking on water – or perhaps the back of a whale,” said Christo. “The light and water transformed the bright yellow fabric to shades of red and gold throughout the sixteen days.”

In the spring and summer of 2014, Christo, Vladimir Yavachev – Operations Director, Wolfgang Volz –  Project Manager and Official Photographer, 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. Since that time they worked alongside team members from around the world to realize The Floating Piers.

The Floating Piers was first conceived by Christo and Jeanne-Claude in 1970. It was Christo’s first large-scale project since Christo and Jeanne-Claude realized The Gates in 2005, and since Jeanne-Claude passed away in 2009. As with all of Christo and Jeanne-Claude’s projects, The Floating Piers was funded entirely through the sale of Christo’s original works of art. After the 16-day exhibition, all components were removed and industrially recycled.

The Floating Piers (Project for Lake Iseo, Italy)
Christo
The Floating Piers (Project for Lake Iseo, Italy)
Collage 2014
15 1/4 x 13 7/8" (38.7 x 35.2 cm)
Pencil, wax crayon, enamel paint, photograph by Wolfgang Volz, technical data, fabric sample and tape
Photo: André Grossmann
© 2014 Christo
The Floating Piers (Project for Lake Iseo, Italy)
Christo
The Floating Piers (Project for Lake Iseo, Italy)
Drawing 2014 in two parts
15 x 96" and 42 x 96" (38 x 244 cm and 106.6 x 244 cm)
Pencil, charcoal, pastel, wax crayon, enamel paint, topographic map, fabric sample and tape
Photo: André Grossmann
© 2014 Christo
Ref. # 1-2014
The Floating Piers (Project for Lake Iseo, Italy)
Christo
The Floating Piers (Project for Lake Iseo, Italy)
Drawing 2014 in two parts
15 x 96" and 42 x 96" (38 x 244 cm and 106.6 x 244 cm)
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
Ref. # 2-2014
The Floating Piers (Project for Lake Iseo, Italy)
Christo
The Floating Piers (Project for Lake Iseo, Italy)
Collage 2015
11 x 8 1/2" (28 x 21.5 cm)
Pencil, wax crayon, enamel paint, photograph by Wolfgang Volz, aerial photograph and fabric sample
Photo: André Grossmann
© 2015 Christo
The Floating Piers (Project for Lake Iseo, Italy)
Christo
The Floating Piers (Project for Lake Iseo, Italy)
Collage 2015
14 x 11" (35.5 x 28 cm)
Pencil, wax crayon, enamel paint, photographs by Wolfgang Volz, aerial photograph, fabric sample and tape
Photo: André Grossmann
© 2015 Christo
The Floating Piers (Project for Lake Iseo, Italy)
Christo
The Floating Piers (Project for Lake Iseo, Italy)
Collage 2015
17 x 22" (43.2 x 55.9 cm)
Pencil, wax crayon, enamel paint, photograph by Wolfgang Volz, technical data, fabric sample and tape
Photo: André Grossmann
© 2015 Christo
The Floating Piers (Project for Lake Iseo, Italy)
Christo
The Floating Piers (Project for Lake Iseo, Italy)
Collage 2015 in two parts
30 1/2 x 26 1/4" and 30 1/2 x 12" (77.5 x 66.7 cm and 77.5 x 30.5 cm
Pencil, charcoal, pastel, wax crayon, fabric, enamel paint, cut-out photographs by Wolfgang Volz, hand-drawn technical data, map, fabric sample and tape
Photo: André Grossmann
© 2015 Christo
Ref. # 9-2015
The Floating Piers (Project for Lake Iseo, Italy)
Christo
The Floating Piers (Project for Lake Iseo, Italy)
Drawing 2015 in two parts
96 x 42" and 96 x 15" (244 x 106.6 cm and 244 x 38 cm)
Pencil, charcoal, pastel, wax crayon, enamel paint, cut-out photographs by Wolfgang Volz, hand-drawn map, fabric sample and tape
Photo: André Grossmann
© 2015 Christo
Ref. # 3-2015
The Floating Piers (Project for Lake Iseo, Italy)
Christo
The Floating Piers (Project for Lake Iseo, Italy)
Drawing 2015 in two parts
15 x 96" and 42 x 96" (38 x 244 cm and 106.6 x 244 cm)
Pencil, charcoal, wax crayon, pastel, enamel paint, topographic map, cut-out photographs by Wolfgang Volz and fabric sample
Photo: André Grossmann
© 2015 Christo
Ref. # 6-2015
The Floating Piers (Project for Lake Iseo, Italy)
Christo
The Floating Piers (Project for Lake Iseo, Italy)
Collage 2016
14 x 11" (35.5 x 28 cm)
Pencil, wax crayon, enamel paint, photographs by Wolfgang Volz and fabric sample
Photo: André Grossmann
© 2016 Christo
The Floating Piers (Project for Lake Iseo, Italy)
Christo
The Floating Piers (Project for Lake Iseo, Italy)
Collage 2016
17 x 22" (43.2 x 55.9 cm)
Pencil, wax crayon, enamel paint, photograph by Wolfgang Volz, fabric sample and tape
Photo: André Grossmann
© 2016 Christo
The Floating Piers (Project for Lake Iseo, Italy)
Christo
The Floating Piers (Project for Lake Iseo, Italy)
Collage 2015
22 x 17" (55.9 x 43.2 cm)
Pencil, wax crayon, enamel paint, photograph by Wolfgang Volz, aerial photograph, fabric sample and tape
Photo: André Grossmann
© 2016 Christo
Ref. AUR
The Floating Piers (Project for Lake Iseo, Italy)
Christo
The Floating Piers (Project for Lake Iseo, Italy)
Drawing 2016 in two parts
15 x 96" and 42 x 96" (38 x 244 cm and 106.6 x 244 cm)
Pencil, charcoal, wax crayon, pastel, enamel paint, cut-out photograph by Wolfgang Volz, fabric sample, hand-drawn topographic map and data on vellum and tape
Photo: Wolfgang Volz
© 2016 Christo
Ref. AUR 12-2016
At the textile manufacturer Setex, 90,000 square meters of shimmering yellow fabric are produced, Greven, Germany, August 2014
At the textile manufacturer Setex, 90,000 square meters of shimmering yellow fabric are produced, Greven, Germany, August 2014
Photo: Wolfgang Volz
At a factory in Fondotoce at Lago Magiore, 200,000 high-density polyethylene cubes are manufactured over a period of eight months before delivered to the project’s storage in Montecolino, January 2016
At a factory in Fondotoce at Lago Magiore, 200,000 high-density polyethylene cubes are manufactured over a period of eight months before delivered to the project’s storage in Montecolino, January 2016
Photo: Wolfgang Volz
At the headquarters in Montecolino, construction workers assemble the piers, which are produced in 100-meter-long segments and stored outside Montecolino on Lake Iseo, January 2016
At the headquarters in Montecolino, construction workers assemble the piers, which are produced in 100-meter-long segments and stored outside Montecolino on Lake Iseo, January 2016
Photo: Wolfgang Volz
Commercial divers from France are hired to install the underwater anchors at depths up to 90 meters, March 2016
Commercial divers from France are hired to install the underwater anchors at depths up to 90 meters, March 2016
Photo: Wolfgang Volz
A diver connects a rope made of ultra-high-molecular-weight polyethylene (UHMWPE), covered with a polyester protective layer with a breaking load of 20 metric tons, to one of the anchors on the lakebed to keep the piers in place, March 2016
A diver connects a rope made of ultra-high-molecular-weight polyethylene (UHMWPE), covered with a polyester protective layer with a breaking load of 20 metric tons, to one of the anchors on the lakebed to keep the piers in place, March 2016
Photo: Wolfgang Volz
Aerial view of the project’s building yard on the Montecolino peninsula (left) and the parking area for the thirty 100 by 16 meter sections on Lake Iseo (right), April 2016
Aerial view of the project’s building yard on the Montecolino peninsula (left) and the parking area for the thirty 100 by 16 meter sections on Lake Iseo (right), April 2016
Photo: Wolfgang Volz
Workers start to encircle the island of San Paolo with the first floating elements, April 2016
Workers start to encircle the island of San Paolo with the first floating elements, April 2016
Photo: Wolfgang Volz
One by one, workers install the 100 by 16 meter sections to connect the island of San Paolo with the island of Monte Isola, May 2016
One by one, workers install the 100 by 16 meter sections to connect the island of San Paolo with the island of Monte Isola, May 2016
Photo: Wolfgang Volz
The felt that will cover the cubes underneath the yellow fabric is transported from Montecolino to San Paolo island by Elimast Helicopter Service, May 2016
The felt that will cover the cubes underneath the yellow fabric is transported from Montecolino to San Paolo island by Elimast Helicopter Service, May 2016
Photo: Wolfgang Volz
From the evening of June 15 to the evening of June 17, teams unfurl 100,000 square meters of shimmering dahlia-yellow fabric on the piers and pedestrian streets in Sulzano and Peschiera Maraglio
From the evening of June 15 to the evening of June 17, teams unfurl 100,000 square meters of shimmering dahlia-yellow fabric on the piers and pedestrian streets in Sulzano and Peschiera Maraglio
Photo: Wolfgang Volz
From the evening of June 15 to the evening of June 17, teams unfurl 100,000 square meters of shimmering dahlia-yellow fabric on the piers and pedestrian streets in Sulzano and Peschiera Maraglio
From the evening of June 15 to the evening of June 17, teams unfurl 100,000 square meters of shimmering dahlia-yellow fabric on the piers and pedestrian streets in Sulzano and Peschiera Maraglio
Photo: Wolfgang Volz
Workers attach carabiners through grommets in the fabric which is then hooked to a cable under the edge of the floating piers, June 15, 2016
Workers attach carabiners through grommets in the fabric which is then hooked to a cable under the edge of the floating piers, June 15, 2016
Photo: Wolfgang Volz
Christo is watching a diver hooking a fabric panel to the side of a floating pier, June 15, 2016
Christo is watching a diver hooking a fabric panel to the side of a floating pier, June 15, 2016
Photo: Wolfgang Volz
These four images showing the construction process of The Floating Piers were taken by ESA's Sentinel-2A satellite between April 19 and June 21, 2016
These four images showing the construction process of The Floating Piers were taken by ESA's Sentinel-2A satellite between April 19 and June 21, 2016
Photo: ESA
The Floating Piers, Lake Iseo, Italy, 2014-16
Christo and Jeanne-Claude
The Floating Piers, Lake Iseo, Italy, 2014-16
Photo: Wolfgang Volz
© 2016 Christo
The Floating Piers, Lake Iseo, Italy, 2014-16
Christo and Jeanne-Claude
The Floating Piers, Lake Iseo, Italy, 2014-16
Photo: Wolfgang Volz
© 2016 Christo
The Floating Piers, Lake Iseo, Italy, 2014-16
Christo and Jeanne-Claude
The Floating Piers, Lake Iseo, Italy, 2014-16
Photo: Wolfgang Volz
© 2016 Christo
The Floating Piers, Lake Iseo, Italy, 2014-16
Christo and Jeanne-Claude
The Floating Piers, Lake Iseo, Italy, 2014-16
Photo: Wolfgang Volz
© 2016 Christo
The Floating Piers, Lake Iseo, Italy, 2014-16
Christo and Jeanne-Claude
The Floating Piers, Lake Iseo, Italy, 2014-16
Photo: Wolfgang Volz
© 2016 Christo
The Floating Piers, Lake Iseo, Italy, 2014-16
Christo and Jeanne-Claude
The Floating Piers, Lake Iseo, Italy, 2014-16
Photo: Wolfgang Volz
© 2016 Christo
The Floating Piers, Lake Iseo, Italy, 2014-16
Christo and Jeanne-Claude
The Floating Piers, Lake Iseo, Italy, 2014-16
Photo: Wolfgang Volz
© 2016 Christo
The Floating Piers, Lake Iseo, Italy, 2014-16
Christo and Jeanne-Claude
The Floating Piers, Lake Iseo, Italy, 2014-16
Photo: Wolfgang Volz
© 2016 Christo
The Floating Piers, Lake Iseo, Italy, 2014-16
Christo and Jeanne-Claude
The Floating Piers, Lake Iseo, Italy, 2014-16
Photo: Wolfgang Volz
© 2016 Christo
The Floating Piers, Lake Iseo, Italy, 2014-16
Christo and Jeanne-Claude
The Floating Piers, Lake Iseo, Italy, 2014-16
Photo: Wolfgang Volz
© 2016 Christo
The Floating Piers, Lake Iseo, Italy, 2014-16
Christo and Jeanne-Claude
The Floating Piers, Lake Iseo, Italy, 2014-16
Photo: Wolfgang Volz
© 2016 Christo
The Floating Piers, Lake Iseo, Italy, 2014-16
Christo and Jeanne-Claude
The Floating Piers, Lake Iseo, Italy, 2014-16
Photo: Wolfgang Volz
© 2016 Christo
The Floating Piers, Lake Iseo, Italy, 2014-16
Christo and Jeanne-Claude
The Floating Piers, Lake Iseo, Italy, 2014-16
Photo: Wolfgang Volz
© 2016 Christo
The Floating Piers, Lake Iseo, Italy, 2014-16
Christo and Jeanne-Claude
The Floating Piers, Lake Iseo, Italy, 2014-16
Photo: Wolfgang Volz
© 2016 Christo
The Floating Piers, Lake Iseo, Italy, 2014-16
Christo and Jeanne-Claude
The Floating Piers, Lake Iseo, Italy, 2014-16
Photo: Wolfgang Volz
© 2016 Christo
The Floating Piers, Lake Iseo, Italy, 2014-16
Christo and Jeanne-Claude
The Floating Piers, Lake Iseo, Italy, 2014-16
Photo: Wolfgang Volz
© 2016 Christo
The Floating Piers, Lake Iseo, Italy, 2014-16
Christo and Jeanne-Claude
The Floating Piers, Lake Iseo, Italy, 2014-16
Photo: Wolfgang Volz
© 2016 Christo
The Floating Piers, Lake Iseo, Italy, 2014-16
Christo and Jeanne-Claude
The Floating Piers, Lake Iseo, Italy, 2014-16
Photo: Wolfgang Volz
© 2016 Christo
The Floating Piers, Lake Iseo, Italy, 2014-16
Christo and Jeanne-Claude
The Floating Piers, Lake Iseo, Italy, 2014-16
Photo: Wolfgang Volz
© 2016 Christo
The Floating Piers, Lake Iseo, Italy, 2014-16
Christo and Jeanne-Claude
The Floating Piers, Lake Iseo, Italy, 2014-16
Photo: Wolfgang Volz
© 2016 Christo
The Floating Piers, Lake Iseo, Italy, 2014-16
Christo and Jeanne-Claude
The Floating Piers, Lake Iseo, Italy, 2014-16
Photo: Wolfgang Volz
© 2016 Christo
The Floating Piers, Lake Iseo, Italy, 2014-16
Christo and Jeanne-Claude
The Floating Piers, Lake Iseo, Italy, 2014-16
Photo: Wolfgang Volz
© 2016 Christo
The Floating Piers, Lake Iseo, Italy, 2014-16
Christo and Jeanne-Claude
The Floating Piers, Lake Iseo, Italy, 2014-16
Photo: Wolfgang Volz
© 2016 Christo
The Floating Piers, Lake Iseo, Italy, 2014-16
Christo and Jeanne-Claude
The Floating Piers, Lake Iseo, Italy, 2014-16
Photo: Wolfgang Volz
© 2016 Christo
The Floating Piers, Lake Iseo, Italy, 2014-16
Christo and Jeanne-Claude
The Floating Piers, Lake Iseo, Italy, 2014-16
Photo: Wolfgang Volz
© 2016 Christo
The Floating Piers, Lake Iseo, Italy, 2014-16
Christo and Jeanne-Claude
The Floating Piers, Lake Iseo, Italy, 2014-16
Photo: Wolfgang Volz
© 2016 Christo
The Floating Piers, Lake Iseo, Italy, 2014-16
Christo and Jeanne-Claude
The Floating Piers, Lake Iseo, Italy, 2014-16
Photo: Wolfgang Volz
© 2016 Christo
The Floating Piers, Lake Iseo, Italy, 2014-16
Christo and Jeanne-Claude
The Floating Piers, Lake Iseo, Italy, 2014-16
Photo: Wolfgang Volz
© 2016 Christo
The Floating Piers, Lake Iseo, Italy, 2014-16
Christo and Jeanne-Claude
The Floating Piers, Lake Iseo, Italy, 2014-16
Photo: Wolfgang Volz
© 2016 Christo
The Floating Piers, Lake Iseo, Italy, 2014-16
Christo and Jeanne-Claude
The Floating Piers, Lake Iseo, Italy, 2014-16
Photo: Wolfgang Volz
© 2016 Christo
The Floating Piers, Lake Iseo, Italy, 2014-16
Christo and Jeanne-Claude
The Floating Piers, Lake Iseo, Italy, 2014-16
Photo: Wolfgang Volz
© 2016 Christo
The Floating Piers, Lake Iseo, Italy, 2014-16
Christo and Jeanne-Claude
The Floating Piers, Lake Iseo, Italy, 2014-16
Photo: Wolfgang Volz
© 2016 Christo
The Floating Piers, Lake Iseo, Italy, 2014-16
Christo and Jeanne-Claude
The Floating Piers, Lake Iseo, Italy, 2014-16
Photo: Wolfgang Volz
© 2016 Christo
The Floating Piers, Lake Iseo, Italy, 2014-16
Christo and Jeanne-Claude
The Floating Piers, Lake Iseo, Italy, 2014-16
Photo: Wolfgang Volz
© 2016 Christo