christo begins work on 20 meter-tall floating ‘mastaba’ in london

artist christo has unveiled plans to construct an enormous floating structure in london’s hyde park, which would reach more than 20 meters (65 feet) in height. titled ‘the mastaba (project for london, hyde park, serpentine lake)’, the installation will float on the serpentine lake from june 18 to september 23, 2018. works begins today, april 3, 2018.

built by a team of experienced engineers, the london ‘mastaba’ comprises 7,506 horizontally stacked barrels on a floating platform. it will be 20 meters (65.5 ft) high x 30 meters (90 ft) wide (at the 60° slanted walls) x 40 meters (130 ft) long. standard 55 gallon barrels will be specifically fabricated and painted for this sculpture — the sides of the barrels, visible on the top and on the two slanted walls of the sculpture, will be red and white; the ends of the barrels, visible on the two vertical walls, will be different hues of red, blue, and mauve.


the mastaba (project for london, hyde park, serpentine lake) | collage 2018 | 8 1/2 x 11″ (21.5 x 28 cm)
pencil, wax crayon, enamel paint, color photograph by wolfgang volz, technical data, map, mylar and tape
photo by andré grossmann © 2018 christo

‘for a few months the london mastaba will be a part of the serpentine lake and its natural and urban surroundings,’ said christo. ‘I am excited to realise this temporary outdoor sculpture in the UK this summer. like with all of my projects, the construction, maintenance and removal of artwork will be entirely funded by me through the sale of my original works of art. the london mastaba in hyde park will be absolutely free to the public — no tickets, no reservations and no owners. it will belong to everyone (until it’s gone). I am also looking forward to the serpentine gallery exhibition exploring the use of barrels in my works from 1958 to today, which will provide important context for the london mastaba.’


collage 2017 | 14 x 11″ (35.5 x 28 cm) | pencil, wax crayon, enamel paint, color photograph by wolfgang volz and tape
photo by andré grossmann © 2017 christo

the realization of christo’s design will coincide with an exhibition documenting the work of the bulgarian-born artist and his late wife jeanne-claude. to be held at the adjacent serpentine galleries, the display will run from june 19 until september 9, 2018. the institution is working closely with christo to develop an exhibition of sculptures, drawings, and photographs spanning more than 50 years of work.


collage 2017 | 17 x 22″ (43.2 x 55.9 cm)
pencil, wax crayon, enamel paint, color photograph by wolfgang volz, map, technical data and tape
photo by andré grossmann © 2017 christo

in 2016, christo completed a floating dock wrapped in shimmering yellow fabric that connected various points on italy’s lake iseo — a project which won the inaugural THE DESIGN PRIZE in the category of social impact. 

this year THE DESIGN PRIZE celebrates its second edition by opening up a forum of acclaimed and highly-esteemed professionals and letting the public have their say. given that the SOCIAL IMPACT award recognizes improvements in the public realm, the process of honoring those individuals whose 2017 contribution made the biggest impact needs you to determine the winner. learn more about each nominee and cast your vote by april 13th.


drawing 2018 in two parts | 15 x 96″ and 42 x 96″ (38 x 244 cm and 106.6 x 244 cm)
pencil, charcoal, wax crayon, enamel paint, hand-drawn map on vellum, technical data, mylar and tape
photo by andré grossmann © 2018 christo


drawing 2017 in two parts | 15 x 96″ and 42 x 96″ (38 x 244 cm and 106.6 x 244 cm)
pencil, charcoal, wax crayon, enamel paint, hand-drawn map on vellum, technical data and tape
photo by andré grossmann © 2017 christo


drawing 2017 in two parts | 30 1/2 x 26″ and 30 1/2 x 12″ (77.5 x 66.7 cm and 77.5 x 30.5 cm)
pencil, charcoal, pastel, enamel paint, hand-drawn technical data, map on vellum and tape
photo by andré grossmann © 2017 christo


the site of the mastaba in serpentine lake: the footprint of the sculpture will be 30 meters wide
(at the 60° slanted walls) x 40 meters long, taking up approximately 1% of the total surface area of the lake

philip stevens I designboom

apr 03, 2018

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