The Gowanus Canal is already home to plenty of broken umbrellas and plastic bottles, but never before have they taken the shape of a giant orb and labeled "public art"—until now.
Harvest Dome 2.0 is described by its creators as a "giant floating diaphanous orb" built specially to bob down New York City waterways. It made its debut in Inwood Hill Park in August after the original Harvest Dome crashed into Rikers Island in 2011. From the Dome's Kickstarter:
A 24ft-diameter cupola made from over 450 reclaimed umbrellas floating atop 128 empty two-liter soda bottles, Harvest Dome transforms the eight-pointed steel umbrella frame, a quintessential piece of urban detritus, into the transcendent form of an architectural dome for the water, to float alongside and bring attention to one of the last remaining detritus-rich tidal saltmarshes of Manhattan, Spuyten Duyvil Creek at the Inwood Hill Park Inlet.
Deploying stormsnapped and reject umbrellas to form a giant diaphanous Dome also evokes the massive plumes of combined sewer overflow plaguing the Gowanus after every storm. It is estimated that in an average year, the Gowanus Canal receives more than 370 million gallons of mixed sewage and stormwater runoff from our overburdened sewer system.
The 700-pound dome is currently docked on Governors Island, and architects Amanda Schachter and Alexander Levi, of SLO Architecture, are hoping to raise the $5,000 necessary to transport the structure by ML-700 barge.
The orb will sit in the waters of the Fourth Street Turning Basin, right next to the Whole Foods that's rapidly materializing on 3rd Street. It will be visible from the 3rd Avenue bridge, DNAinfo reports, but the best view is obviously available by canoe. The orb will enjoy its residency in the Gowanus for six months—just in time for winter! Paddling a canoe down a semi-frozen waterway may not be everyone's idea of a great time, but at least the stench will be under control.