Navigating the Hudson River can be quite a challenge. From tricky winds to nasty currents, the waters are treacherous even for the most seasoned boater. This weekend, Harvest Dome, a highly anticipated public art installation made of recycled umbrella spokes was poised to set sail down the Hudson but crashed right into Rikers Island. After a quick clean up and a chat with some very confused prison guards at Rikers, the dome’s designers, Slo Architecture, are back to work on reconstruction.

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Harvest Dome is the brainchild of husband and wife team, Amanda Schater and Alexander Levi who have spent the past three years collecting abandoned umbrellas and soda bottles throughout Manhattan. With the help of local teens and volunteers, the web-like dome was finally ready to float down to its permanent exhibition space, an inlet at the Inwood Hill Park. The 15-foot high and 24-foot wide dome was carefully craned into the water on Friday and met its demise shortly after a ripping current crashed it into the rocks along Rikers Island — New York City’s main jail complex.

“Strangest thing I’ve ever seen,” Elisio Perez, the warden told the New York Times (which says a lot considering his line of work).

The project was funded through a Manhattan Community Arts Fund grant of the Lower Manhattan Cultural Council in partnership with the New York Parks Department. Meant to be on view until November 15th, the dome’s reconstruction is vehemently moving forward in a location closer to its final destination.

This is not Slo Architecture’s first recycled materials project. Last year they created a large-scale model of the Lower Bronx River Watershed using 3,000 metrocards, 30 umbrellas, 2,000 plastic bottles, and 50 PVC window frames hauled off a demolition site.

We will stay updated on the project’s progress and keep an eye out for a giant floating dome making its way down the Hudson River.

+ Slo Architecture

via New York Times