Can paper be strong enough to build a bridge?
Japanese architect Shigeru Ban says yes.
Never underestimate the power of any building material, even one as light and apparently unsuited to heavy construction as paper and cardboard. But, 14 architecture students and architect Shigeru Ban proved that the impossible can be done: In just one month, they built a bridge made of paper and cardboard that could hold up to 20 people at a time.
Designed as a summer attraction for tourists in the scenic location of southern France near Nimes, the Paper Bridge was right in the vicinity of Pont du Gard, a Roman aqueduct, structurally its exact opposite: heavy, hard and durable. Still, both bridges lived in harmony as they used the same arc dimensions.
Says Ban about the project: “It is a very interesting contrast, the Roman stone bridge and the paper bridge. Paper too can be permanent, can be strong and lasting. We need to get rid of these prejudices.”
Nimes is the capital of the Gard departement in theLanguedoc-Rousillon region in southern France. Nîmes has a rich history, dating back to the RomanEmpire when the city was home to 60,000 people,Today the city is a popular tourist destination.