What are Floating Piers?

Floating piers is a great innovative work of artists Christo and Jean-Claude made over the water of Italy's Lake Iseo. The floating piers is an continuous flocking dock system that is constructed as a 3km walkway. 


Floating piers 

As shown in the figure-1 below, the walkway is wrapped in a 100,000 square meters of yellow cloth. The flocking dock system is made out of 222 thousand high-density polythylene cubes.

These polythylene cube dock system has the ability to undulate with the movement of the waves at Lake Iseo. This walkway extends from the pedestrian streets of Sulzano and connects with the islands of San Paolo and Monte Isola.

Also Read: The Longest Wood Made Bicycle Bridge in Europe - Pieter Smit Bridge


Construction of Floating Piers


  1. The textile used to cover the floating pier walkway was manufactured in August 2014 by a textile manufacturer company named, Setex (Greven, Germany). It was manufactured at a quantity of 90,000 sq.metres. The material was a shimmering yellow fabric.
    Floating piers 
  2. Christo finalized a preparatory drawing for the floating pier in his studio in Nov 2015.
  3. In Jan 2016, 200 thousand high-density polyethylene cubes where manufactured within a period of 8 months at a factory in Fontotoce at Lago Maggiore.
  4. The piers were assembled in the headquarters of Montecolino on Jan 2016. It was arranged in 100m long segments.
    Floating piers 
  5. The parking area for the 30,00 x 16 m sections on Lake Iseo were planned in Feb 2016. At the same time the yellow fabric was sewn into panels.
  6. In March 2016, in order to install underwater anchors at a depth of 90m, special commercial divers where setup.
  7. To the anchors, the pier blocks where connected using a rope. This rope was made of ultra high molecular weight polyethylene (UHMWPE) with a protective layer and a braking load of 20 tonnes.
  8. Under the cubes, frames were attached over the lakebed that is made out of UHMWPE and protective layer with breaking load of 20 tonnes.
  9. The workers push the frames one by one underneath the floating element before it is conencted to the screws.
  10. Th island of San Paolo was encircled with first floating element.
  11. The fabric to cover the panels wa delivered using Elimast Helicopter Service.
  12. Before covering with fabric, the floating cubes are covered with felt.
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