Friday, August 22, 2008

New York City Waterfalls

New York City Waterfalls is an art installation by artist Olafur Eliasson, in collaboration with the Public Art Fund, consisting of four man-made waterfalls placed around New York City along the East River.

At $15.5 million, it is the most expensive public arts project since Christo and Jeanne-Claude's installation of The Gates in Central Park. The waterfalls officially began flowing on June 26, 2008. They will run from 7 am to 10 pm (under illumination after sunset), until October 13, 2008.

The sites chosen for the four waterfalls were Pier 35 in Manhattan, beneath the Brooklyn Bridge in DUMBO, Brooklyn, between piers 4 and 5 — also in Brooklyn — and Governors Island.
Work on erecting the four support scaffolds began in mid-March, 2008. On the shore of Governors Island construction teams used pile driving to secure the scaffolding in place. This method was not used at the other locations for various reasons, including the effects of vibrations through car and subway tunnels. Once completed, the scaffolding would total 64,000 square feet and weigh 270 tons. Eliasson has said that the scaffolds themselves were designed to blend in with their urban surroundings, but that he purposely did not try to conceal them, explaining he "want[s] people to know that this is both a natural phenomenon and a cultural one.”
Construction involved the work of 108 different people, including two environmental consultants. The installation was designed to be ecologically-friendly. Some example of this are energy efficient LED lighting, energy purchased from renewable sources and the filters used to keep aquatic life from taking a ride up-and-over the waterfall. When the project has closed the materials will be made available for re-use in a future project

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