Dome of broken umbrellas takes to New York river

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Harvest Dome 2.0 (Photo: Andreas Symietz)

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Take a pleasure cruise up the Harlem River this month and you surely won't miss the 24-ft (7.3-m) diameter Harvest Dome 2.0 which floats on the waters near Spuyten Duyvil Creek at the north tip of Manhattan, New York. Built to draw eyes to the city's watercourses, the dome is built from 450 discarded and broken umbrellas support by a floating ring made from 128 2-liter drinks bottles.

The project is a sequel to the first Harvest Dome, and like it was built for Inwood Hill Park. The first dome came to an inauspicious end in 2011 when, en route to its final location, the pontoon of canoes transporting the dome shipwrecked and drifted to Rikers Island where, co-creator Amanda Schachter of SLO Architecture tells Gizmag, it was destroyed by prison officers.

Perhaps it was the opportunity to make amends that drew a team of architecture grads and locals to volunteer to build the thing. Schacter and her husband and partner, Alexander Levi, turned to Kickstarter to fund version 2, seeking US$7,500 – modest, by Kickstarter standards. The campaign included offers to sell parts of the original dome (complete with a certificate of authenticity that the piece had been "in custody" on Rikers) to the high bidders.

"The piece celebrates the particular tides at the Northern tip of Manhattan, at Spuyten Duyvil, home to one of the last remaining saltmarshes on the island," Schachter says. "The Dome alternates between sitting on the mudflat at low tide to floating in the water during high tide."

High or low tide, the dome will be on the river throughout August.

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