- 220,000 cubes create the 3 kilometers of The Floating Piers.
- 220,000 pins hold the cubes together.
- 200 anchors weighing 5.5 tons ea. hold the 16-meter-wide piers in place.
- 37,000 m of rope connect the anchors to the piers.
- 70,000 square meters of felt line the piers and streets underneath the fabric.
- 100,000 square meters of fabric cover 3 kilometers of piers and 2.5 kilometers of pedestrian streets.
- 2.7 million liters of water fill the sloping sides.
How does Christo find inspiration for his work?
All of Christo and Jeanne-Claude’s projects came from ideas from their two hearts, and their two brains. The artists never created works that came from other people’s ideas. Never. Christo and Jeanne-Claude have completed more than 20 projects and twice as much have not succeeded. The artists could not get permission to create those projects, or the artists lost interest.
Some projects took many years of refusals until the artists could complete the project: 32 years for Wrapped Trees (1966–98), 26 years for The Gates (1979–2005), 24 years for The Wrapped Reichstag (1971–95), ten years for The Pont Neuf Wrapped (1975–85), five years for Running Fence (1972–76), etc.
The Floating Piers was conceived together with Jeanne-Claude in 1970. In 2014, Christo found Lake Iseo to be the most inspiring location for the project.
How was the site for The Floating Piers chosen?
For all of Christo and Jeanne-Claude’s projects, there are two different ways for choosing a site. In one scenario, the artists have a specific building, structure or location in mind – such as the Pont-Neuf in Paris or the Reichstag in Berlin. In a second scenario, the artists have an idea for a project, but do not know where it will be physically located.
In the case of The Floating Piers, Christo and Jeanne-Claude knew a floating pier would rise just above the surface of the water, but they did not know which river or lake would work best. Early renditions of what the artists envisioned were created by Christo in 1970, proposing a 2,000-meter-long inflated pier on the delta of the Rio de la Plata in Argentina. It never happened because Christo and Jeanne-Claude never got a permit. Twenty-five years later, in 1995, after finishing The Wrapped Reichstag in Berlin, the idea of The Floating Piers was still running around inside the heads and hearts of the artists, so they proposed making two floating piers, 150 meters long, covered in fabric, which connect to two artificial islands in Tokyo Bay and continue on to Odaiba Park. Again, after drawings and sketches, a permit wasn’t granted.
Then, in 2014, Christo remembered the lakes of Northern Italy, with which he had been familiar since the 1960s, when he worked and exhibited in Italy extensively. In the spring and summer of 2014, Christo and his team scouted the lakes and found Lake Iseo to be the most inspiring location for the project.
Who pays for the installation?
Christo pays the entire costs associated with The Floating Piers himself, including the permitting process, manufacturing, installation and removal of the project. He earns all of the money through the sale of his preparatory studies and early works from the 50’s and 60’s. He does not accept grants or sponsorships of any kind. He does not accept viewing fees. He does not accept donated labor (volunteer help). He does not accept money for things like posters, postcards, books, films or any other products at all. None. Christo firmly believes that to accept deals of this kind would alter and compromise his art. Refusing this money assures him he is working in total freedom.
Art collectors who are interested in acquiring original preparatory works of art may contact us by e-mail. Christo and Jeanne-Claude have always acted as their own art dealers. All of the money for The Floating Piers comes from the sale of Christo’s original works of art from the late 1950s through today.
Where do I get tickets for The Floating Piers?
Christo and Jeanne-Claude’s goal has always been to create works of art of joy and beauty, without charging any viewing fees. Thus, no tickets will be necessary to see, enter and enjoy The Floating Piers. The project will be completely free of charge.
Will there be an official opening?
No. Weather permitting, installation will be completed on June 18, 2016. The Floating Piers will be on view for 16 days, until July 3, 2016. After the exhibition, all parts of The Floating Piers will be removed and industrially recycled.
Where is the best place to see the project?
Christo has designed The Floating Piers to be seen from the mountains, all around the lake, from the roads, by boat – and, of course, by walking on the piers. Neither Christo nor Jeanne-Claude flew to look at their previous works, because they were designed to be experienced from the ground – not by flying. Only the Surrounded Islands were designed to be seen also from the air. The Floating Piers cannot be fully enjoyed from the air. The water, the wind, the sun – all this is part of the project.
Where can I buy any of the materials used for the project?
You cannot. All materials used for the project will be industrially recycled. Nothing will remain except photos, films, and the memory of the people.
Where can I register to volunteer on the project?
All workers for all of Christo and Jeanne-Claude’s projects are paid. Currently, all construction work is being done by paid professionals. For the final stage of the project, many non-skilled workers will be necessary to complete The Floating Piers. Please note that we have completed the registration process and cannot take any further applications into consideration.
Where can I buy books, posters or photographs of The Floating Piers?
Christo does not sell postcards, posters or photographs and he receives no royalties on the sale of any of these. Christo has no royalties either on the books and films about his and Jeanne-Claude’s projects.
To purchase posters or limited edition prints, collages, three-dimensional objects and photographs, please use the following contacts: