A 20-metre-high floating installation has just been installed in the middle of Hyde Park’s Serpentine Lake in central London. Named ‘The London Mastaba’, the Christo-designed sculpture is said to represent his and late wife Jeanne-Claude’s determination to make art free.

There’s a Sculpture Floating on Hyde Park’s Serpentine Made from 7,506 Barrels

Based on the trapezoid shapes of a mastaba, an Arabic word for bench given to Egyptian tombs, The London Mastaba by Christo is made of 7,506 painted barrels secured to scaffolding and anchored in the lake. Incredibly, though the art piece was made in conjunction with the Serpentine Galleries, the work is entirely self-funded.

Completely free to view by the general public, the ends of the barrels on the installation are painted in red, blue and mauve to create an impressionist-style mosaic. A different red intersected with stripes of white has been used for the slanted walls either side. Christo chose the colours specifically to interact with the green and blue of the public park and its lake.

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The structure sits on a floating platform made from interlocking high-density polyethylene and is held in place by 32 anchors, each weighing 6 tonnes. The whole sculpture weighs in at 600 tonnes and covers 1% of the Serpentine’s surface.

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Christo is aiming to build painted barrel towers in cities and landscapes around the world, with his London creation the first in a potential series. His most ambitious plan is to install a 170-metre high barrel mastaba for the Abu Dhabi desert.

The London Mastaba by Christo will float on the Serpentine Lake in Hyde Park until 23rd September 2018. You can also view more of his and his late wife’s works at the Serpentine Galleries until 9th September 2018.

Photography by Wolfgang Volz.

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In other design news, famed Scottish whisky producer The Macallan has just given their distillery a modern makeover and now features the ‘most complicated timber roof structure in the world’.

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