Take A Close Look At Christo’s “The Floating Piers” Exhibit In Italy

Explore the current center of the art world.


On June 18, the first of many hundreds of thousands of people began arriving at Italy’s Lake Iseo, previously once of the country’s lesser-known lakes, but currently at the center of the world’s art scene thanks to Christo’s The Floating Piers.


Made from 100,000 square meters of special saffron fabric and 220,000 custom cubes, the project is Christo’s first major installation since 2005’s The Gates in New York City.

Photo: Daniel Terdiman

Fast Company’s Daniel Terdiman made his way to Lake Iseo for a chance to walk on water—literally. The piers, which connect the town of Sulzano (100 kilometers from Milan and 200 kilometers from Venice) to the islands of Monte Isola and San Paolo, allow the hundreds of thousands of visitors to walk into the middle of the lake, taking in the breathtaking scenery, which includes alpine mountains, and many small villages clustered along the edges of the lake.

The project, like all of Christo’s work, is temporary; It will end on July 3, with all the material then being recycled. Also like all his work, previously done with his late wife, Jeanne-Claude, who died in 2009, The Floating Piers is entirely funded by the artist from the sale of his own work. The communities of Lake Iseo bear no financial expense, and indeed, are benefitting from the huge economic impact of the many visitors.

Photo: André Grossmann

The Floating Piers was originally conceived in 1970, but was only realized this year. His next work will likely be Over the River, in Colorado.

About the author

Daniel Terdiman is a San Francisco-based technology journalist with nearly 20 years of experience. A veteran of CNET and VentureBeat, Daniel has also written for Wired, The New York Times, Time, and many other publications