The Floating Piers Opens on Lake Iseo Allowing Visitors to "Walk on Water"

The Floating Piers Opens on Lake Iseo Allowing Visitors to "Walk on Water"

Beginning this week, and lasting for only sixteen days, visitors to the Italian Lake Iseo can "walk on water." The Floating Piers is the work of Christo and Jeanne-Claude, based on an idea first conceived in 1970. Built using 100,000 square meters of shimmering yellow fabric, carried by a modular floating dock system of 220,000 high-density polyethylene cubes, the installation—which sits just above water level—undulates with the movement of the lake.

According to Italian news source, Leggo, two people were "seriously injured" and the installation was "evacuated" on its opening day due to the quantity of visitors and inclement weather conditions.

Those who experience The Floating Piers will feel like they are walking on water – or perhaps the back of a whale.

The Floating Piers Opens on Lake Iseo Allowing Visitors to Walk on Water - More Images+ 7

From June 15 until the afternoon of June 17, the teams deployed 100,000 square meters of bright yellow fabric on the quays and pedestrian streets in Sulzano and Peschiera Maraglio. Image © Wolfgang Volz
April 2016: Workers begin to surround the island of San Paolo, with the first floating elements. Image © Wolfgang Volz

For the first time visitors can walk from Sulzano to Monte Isola and onto the island of San Paolo, which is framed by The Floating Piers. "Like all of our projects, The Floating Piers is absolutely free and accessible 24 hours a day – weather permitting," said Christo. "There are no tickets, no openings, no reservations and no owners. [They] are an extension of the street and belong to everyone."

April 2016: Aerial view of downtown construction of the project in the Montecolino peninsula. Image © Wolfgang Volz

A three kilometer-long walkway was created as The Floating Piers extend across the water of Lake Iseo. The piers are sixteen meters wide and approximately thirty-five centimeters high, with sloping sides. The fabric continues along over two kilometers of pedestrian streets in the towns of Sulzano and Peschiera Maraglio. The prokect represents Christo’s first large-scale project since the death of Jeanne-Claude, and has been funded entirely by his original works of art.

March 2016: A diver connects a rope made of polyethylene of high molecular weight polyethylene (UHMWPE), covered with a protective layer of polyester with a breaking load of 20 metric tons, to one of the anchors on the lakebed to keep the docks instead. Image © Wolfgang Volz
© Christo
© Christo
© Christo

The Floating Piers is available to visit from June 18th through July 3rd 2016 (weather permitting).

An aspect of this article references news from Leggo.

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Cite: James Taylor-Foster. "The Floating Piers Opens on Lake Iseo Allowing Visitors to "Walk on Water"" 19 Jun 2016. ArchDaily. Accessed . <> ISSN 0719-8884

© Christo


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