The Kid Should See This

Red PaperBridge, a temporary installation by Steve Messam

Paperbridge is a red paper footbridge that arcs across a small river in the Grisedale Valley in Cumbria. Accessible by a 2 mile walk from the town of Patterdale, the self-supporting arch sits in nature as a bright tribute to its natural surroundings, as well as to art and engineering.

The temporary installation by British environmental artist Steve Messam is made from 22,000 separate pieces of locally-sourced paper. It’s held up with no framed support, no glue, and no nails or screws. Just 4200 kilograms (9259.42 pounds) of paper! The physics of the weight distribution gives the bridge the strength to safely support visitors, as seen in the above video by YouTuber donkershaw.

Here’s another video by Henry Iddon that shows the bridge in the landscape.

And here’s what it looked like as they put it together:

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The site-specific piece was open to the public from May 9-18, 2015, and was recycled as a part of the project.

Related reading and videos: Arch bridge, abutments, How Bridges Work, and from PBS Learning Media: Physics of Arches.

Related DIY: The Potato Arch.

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