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Posts Tagged ‘temporary’

Christo is known for making impossible-seeming public art, and just recently, he made some again. Margaret Rhodes reported the story at Wired magazine.

“It takes serious engineering to let 640,000 people walk on water. Luckily, that’s exactly the kind of technical and creative challenge that Christo — the artist who wrapped the Reichstag and dotted Central Park with 7,503 orange panels of fabric—excels at. …

“The new project, the ‘Floating Piers,’ comprises two miles of marigold-yellow walkways gently bobbing on top of Lake Iseo, a small lake in northern Italy, connecting the waterside town of Sulzano with two small islands. …

“Making them work was tricky. Marinas often use temporary, floating piers; a common technique involves propping them atop styrofoam cubes. ‘We discovered very soon that this cube system was perfect for us,’ says Wolfgang Volz, Christo’s project manager. So in the fall of 2014, Christo’s team ran a secret simulation of the Floating Piers in Germany. But the styrofoam blocks were too small and too dense.

“So they built their own blocks—220,000 in total. They’re about 20 percent bigger than the ones marinas use, and more buoyant. A Bulgarian company supplied the materials, and Christo hired four different manufacturing companies to ensure they’d have enough.

“Once Christo had his blocks, he, Volz, and a few dozen workers started connecting the cubes into 50- by 330-foot sections. They attached the cubes with giant screws, right on the water, in a corralled section of Lake Iseo.

“One by one, workers pushed the white styrofoam rafts out into the lake and anchored them to 5.5-ton concrete slabs arranged on the lake floor in a configuration conceived by Christo. ‘Very tedious work,’ Volz says. ‘Every day the same.’

“It took four months, with workers doing shifts of two weeks on, two weeks off the job. ‘The same as an oil rig schedule,’ Volz says.’ ” More here.

Temporary, like most of Christo’s work, the walkway was scheduled to come down early this month and get recycled. But it lives on in photographs — and the memories of those who visited and got a chance to walk on water.

Photo: Wolfgang Volz
Christo’s project the “Floating Piers” comprised two miles of marigold-yellow walkways on Lake Iseo in northern Italy. Visitors walked the path without handrails.

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Providence is engaging in so many entertaining pop-up activities I can’t keep up. Suzanne sent this link about one that happened today. I guess it is what people mean when they talk about “placemaking.”

Chris writes at the blog for Our Backyard Rhode Island, “Where else but Our Backyard could you walk to dozens of parks in just one day? Today 32 temporary parklets have sprung up in Downtown, the West Side, and the East Side of Providence to mark PARK(ing) Day. More than 30 metered parking spaces have been transformed into temporary public parks. Designers worked with local businesses to find creative ways to add green space to the urban environment. They trucked in plants, Astroturf and picnic tables to create alluring stop offs for people out for a walk.

“On Matthewson Street, you can even use frisbees to play checkers on a board as big as a queen-size comforter. Organized locally by the RI chapter of the American Society of Landscape Architects (RIASLA), the RI chapter of the American Institute of Architects (AIAri), and Transport Providence, Park(ing) Day strengthens connections in Our Backyard.”

More here.

Photo: http://ourbackyardri.com/
A Providence parklet today.

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