Published on May 21st, 2015 | by admin


A Bridge Made Of Paper

It seems the theme of bridges is providing inspiration on a number of different levels at present. As well as seeing the recent release of a set of special stamps celebrating the evolution of bridge design across the UK, a very unique five metre long bridge made out of paper was recently temporarily in situ in the Lake District too.

Made of paper, wood pulp and water

Erected using 22,000 sheets of paper, wood pulp and water but without using any glue, bolts or other fixing to hold it up, a bright red bridge weighing over four tonnes (which is roughly the same as an elephant), was set up by environmental artist Steve Messam who we learn spent three years developing the fully-functioning bridge which was commissioned by Lakes Culture as part of its Lakes Ignite 2015 programme.

We learn that the bridge, which made a stunning contrast with the beautiful Lake District surrounding landscape, was designed based on the principles of classic arch bridges which have been around for over 2,000 years since Roman times.

The red paper used to create the bridge, which was located over a beck at the top of the Grisedale Valley under the shadow of Helvellyn, Cumbria was specially made for the project by Burnside papermaker James Cropper to ensure no environmental damage would be caused to the local area.  Of particular note was the fact that if it rained none of the red colour would run into the beck below.

Since the bridge was dismantled earlier this week, the paper used to create this inspired piece of art has apparently been returned to James Cropper for pulping and recycling; this is good news from a sustainability perspective instead of adding to the 18 million tonnes of waste which ends up as landfill each year.

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