In 1970, environmental artists (and married couple) Christo Vladimirov Javacheff and Jeanne-Claude de Guillebon came up with a concept for a new project involving a floating pier. Now, it’s finally being realized on the waters of northern Italy’s Lake Iseo, almost seven years after Jeanne-Claude’s death.
The Floating Piers consists of a nearly 2-mile walkway just above the surface of the water between Sulzano, a town on the lake’s eastern shore, the 1800-person island of Monte Isola, and the tiny islet of San Paolo. Visitors will stroll across a 52-foot-wide dock system made of about 200,000 plastic cubes, topped with yellow fabric that will give the bridge an undulating appearance. It will be less than 2 feet tall and sloped at the edges, giving people an experience that’s pretty close to walking on water.
While the piece was completed without Jeanne-Claude—Christo chose the location in 2014—it’s being presented as a joint project. This will be their first large-scale work since The Gates in 2005, which involved more than 7500 gates hung with fabric erected in New York’s Central Park.
The piers will be open between June 18 and July 3. The local tourism board expects 500,000 people to come out to see it, especially since it’s located only about 250 miles away from Art Basel, one of the world’s biggest international art fairs. After the exhibition closes, the components will be recycled.
All images courtesy Christo and Jeanne-Claude