A temporary bridge made of 281 cardboard tubes has been erected over a river in Southern France. Weighing 7.5 tonnes, it can hold up to 20 people at a time. It is just half a mile from the Pont du Gard, an old Roman stone bridge, and was designed by Shigeru Ban, a Japanese architect known for his both grandiose and humble paper constructions, as you can see in the gallery. The technical details make it even more stunning.
Each tube is four inches in diameter and 0.46 inches thick. The steps are recycled paper and plastic, and the foundations sand-filled wooden boxes. It was built by 24 French and 3 Japanese architecture students over the course of a month, and will be on show for six weeks before being dismantled ahead of the rainy season.
The structure, which connects one of the banks of the Gardon with a sandy islet that sits mid-river, was tested for resistance by rolling balloons filled with one-and-a-half tonnes of water over it. "It is a very interesting contrast, the Roman stone bridge and the paper bridge," said Ban, who made his name making temporary emergency structures for disaster victims. "Paper too can be permanent, can be strong and lasting. We need to get rid of these prejudices." [France24 via Boing Boing]