Artist Steve Messam has achieved something that has never been attempted before: building a bridge entirely out of paper without using a lick of glue or bolts. And this is no flimsy bridge that will waste away with the slightest breeze. Instead, PaperBridge is sturdy enough to hold the weight of hikers exploring the Lakes District of northwest England. Bright red and supported by rock cages, this unique design was achieved using traditional packhorse bridge techniques common to the region.
Lakes Culture commissioned Messam to design PaperBridge as part of an initiative to blend the Lakes District’s numerous cultural and tourism offerings, which in turn comprises an effort to achieve World Heritage Site status. He worked on the idea for four years, according to The Chronicle, and finally realized his ambitions using 22,000 sheets of paper that stick together without glue or bolts.
Like a drystone wall or pack horse bridge, PaperBridge relies on geometry for its weight-bearing properties. Designed as an arch, a technique first applied by the ancient Romans to a variety of building projects, this 6.5-foot-tall art installation spans 16 feet at the foot of the Helvellyn mountain range, its bright red color dramatically contrasted against the wild backdrop. PaperBridge will be in place until May 18, after which it will be dismantled and transported to the James Cropper Paper’s Burneside Mill in Cumbria for recycling.
Via Chronicle Live