In just one week, over 620,000 people have flocked to the tiny lake in Northern Italy to see the 16m-wide fluctuating path covered with 700, 000 square meters of fabric, putting the previously unknown town of Sulzano firmly on the map.
Christo’s original idea for The Floating Piers is almost 50 years old. Initially it was invented for the delta of Rio de la Plata but that walkway was never realized because of the missing permissions. Later, in 1995, the project, including two 150-meter docks, was repurposed for the Tokyo Bay and its artificial islands. And again, the daring project did not overcome bureaucratic hurdles.
Related: Step inside the world’s largest bamboo maze!
Originally, The Floating Piers was supposed to stay open 24 hours a day. However, due to unbelievable influx of people, some days the installation has to close between 12:00am and 6:00am for maintenance.
Christo Vladimirov Javacheff and his wife Jeanne-Claude (who passed away in 2009) are renowned for their large-scale projects of land art with powerful visual appeal. What most people don’t know is this particular installation is also a remarkable work of engendering that is constructed with 200,000 modules of high density polyethylene to handle the throng of curious visitors and rough weather.
Images © Maria Novozhilova for Inhabitat