Architecture

Floating walkways let visitors go island hopping

Floating walkways let visitors...
The floating walkway will undulate with the waves of the lake
The floating walkway will undulate with the waves of the lake
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The Floating Piers was designed by artists Christo (pictured) and Jeanne-Claude
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The Floating Piers was designed by artists Christo (pictured) and Jeanne-Claude
The walkway is constructed in a modular manner
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The walkway is constructed in a modular manner
Felt that will cover the cubes underneath the yellow fabric is transported from Montecolino to San Paolo island by Elimast Helicopter Service
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Felt that will cover the cubes underneath the yellow fabric is transported from Montecolino to San Paolo island by Elimast Helicopter Service
Workers start to encircle the island of San Paolo with the first floating elements
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Workers start to encircle the island of San Paolo with the first floating elements
Visitors will be able to walk from Sulzano to Monte Isola and to the island of San Paolo
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Visitors will be able to walk from Sulzano to Monte Isola and to the island of San Paolo
Lake Iseo lies about 100 km (62 mi) to the east of Milan and 200 km (124 mi) west of Venice
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Lake Iseo lies about 100 km (62 mi) to the east of Milan and 200 km (124 mi) west of Venice
One by one, workers install the 100 by 16 meter sections to connect the island of San Paolo with the island of Monte Isola
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One by one, workers install the 100 by 16 meter sections to connect the island of San Paolo with the island of Monte Isola
The walkway is made of 200,000 high-density polyethylene cubes that slot together in a modular manner
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The walkway is made of 200,000 high-density polyethylene cubes that slot together in a modular manner
75,000 square meters of yellow fabric are sewn into panels
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75,000 square meters of yellow fabric are sewn into panels
The floating walkway will undulate with the waves of the lake
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The floating walkway will undulate with the waves of the lake
The walkway will extend for 1.5 km (0.9 mi) along the streets of Sulzano and Peschiera Maraglio
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The walkway will extend for 1.5 km (0.9 mi) along the streets of Sulzano and Peschiera Maraglio
The idea for the project was conceived in 1970
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The idea for the project was conceived in 1970
The walkway will be 16-m (52-ft) wide
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The walkway will be 16-m (52-ft) wide
The walkway will have sloping sides and will cover an area of around 70,000 sq m (753,500)
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The walkway will have sloping sides and will cover an area of around 70,000 sq m (753,500)

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).

One by one, workers install the 100 by 16 meter sections to connect the island of San Paolo with the island of Monte Isola
One by one, workers install the 100 by 16 meter sections to connect the island of San Paolo with the island of Monte Isola

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.

Sources: The Floating Piers, Christo and Jeanne-Claude

3 comments
Milton
Looks like fun. Perhaps more fun if it was only 5 feet wide instead of 50, but I suppose you couldn't squeeze nearly as many tourists. I cringe a little at the shear amount of plastic that is going into this, but at least they mention it is all going to a recycling plant. The Fabric seems to serve no functional purpose, and covers up the coolest part of the design: The modular building-blocks.
habakak
Milton, I think the fabric covering is to provide some grip for pedestrians. Plastic can be slippery and considering it might get wet, even more so.
ljaques
Yes, looks like a fun hike and I'll bet a million people walk over it in those few weeks. But judging by the pictures, the fabric looks loose and easy for pedestrians to trip over. Why will they be recycling the blocks after 3 weeks of use? I'll bet tons of people would want to buy pieces for their own floating docks.