For years, man has toiled with the conundrum of what material is best for building bridges. Who doesn’t lie awake at night, pondering the merits of tensile steel versus an aluminium/carbon amalgam. Just the thought of it leaves us in a cold sweat.
But fear not, because artist Steve Messam has final answered that question. It’s paper, of course! Messam, an environmental artists completed the project, maybe unsurprisingly called Paper Bridge earlier this month, as a “bold statement of form and design” – his words.
The project, weighing in at a hefty 4.2 tones, uses 22,000 sheets of red paper, but absolutely no screws, glue, or other binding materials. Only a bit of gravity is at work stopping this from turning into the kind of papery, watery mess you made when you discovered you could terrorise your school with wet paper towels.
It kind of makes us wonder what other functional bits of architecture could be made from unusual materials. A pylon made out of paper clips? A bike stand made from bent iPhones? Maybe a belisha beacon made out of Shaun White?