Floating walkways let visitors go island hopping

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The floating walkway will undulate with the waves of the lake(Credit: Christo)

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For 16 days, A 3-km (1.9-mi) floating walkway on a picturesque lake in Italy will allow visitors to walk over the water to two islands. The Floating Piers installation will rest on the waters of Lake Iseo and will also extend for 1.5 km (0.9 mi) along the streets of Sulzano and Peschiera Maraglio on the coast.

Floating thoroughfares are not a new idea, as London's proposed floating cycle path attests, and we've even seen them installed in certain places, such as at the Ravelijn fortress-island in the Netherlands. What is notable about the Floating Piers, though, is its scale, the method for its construction and its temporary nature.

Designed by artists Christo and Jeanne-Claude, the idea for the project was conceived way back in 1970, although its location on Lake Iseo was only first scouted in 2014. The lake lies about 100 km (62 mi) to the east of Milan and 200 km (124 mi) west of Venice.

The walkway itself, which is already under construction, will comprise 200,000 high-density polyethylene cubes that slot together in a modular manner. It will be 16-m (52-ft) wide, about 50-cm (20-in) high and will cover an area of around 70,000 sq m (753,500).

Construction work for the walkway is being carried out by professionals and, once it is complete, it will be covered in what is described as "shimmering yellow fabric," giving the structure an out-of-place and striking look. Visitors will be able to walk from Sulzano to Monte Isola and to the island of San Paolo, or will be able to get a view of the installation as a whole from up in the surrounding mountains.

The Floating Piers will be installed on Lake Iseo from June 18 to July 3, after which all of its components will be removed and industrially recycled. Visiting the installation will be free of charge, with no tickets required.

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