FloatLab, the Schuylkill’s newest floating deck will allow visitors to walk over water and interact with the river at eye level!
A wonderful new art installation on the Schuylkill river will soon let Philadelphians experience the surrounding nature at a whole new level! A project by Mural Arts, the circular deck will be located near Bartram’s Garden and will allow visitors to walk over water and interact with the river and its environment at eye level while walking around it.
Intended to help visitors bond with the surrounding environment, FloatLab’s giant, lime green loop will be able to accommodate full classroom visits and art audiences, allowing visitors to reconnect with the natural setting and interact with their surroundings in a number of ways including art classes and by collecting water samples at eye-level with the river.
The structure will also feature a floating garden and freshwater mussel hatchery that Philadelphians will be able to explore in order to better understand the nuances of a living, tidal river.
The FloatLab structure will be installed near Bartram’s Garden, an area of the river that has been pretty much inaccessible in the past due to the strong tidal changes that can sometimes make water levels change by almost 7 feet every day.
However, Höweler + Yoon, the architecture firm in charge of designing the deck, has implemented techniques of architectural design, marine engineering and naval architecture to create a system of eight ballast chambers below the walking surface that will allow FloatLab to remain consistently level and stable, even as the tide changes — a total engineering feat no doubt!
While details of the construction and design still need to be ironed out, it looks like Philadelphians will be able to enjoy FloatLab’s new deck come October of 2022.
[Featured image: Höweler + Yoon Architechture]