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SUV Crosses Bridge Made of Paper

Friday, December 11, 2015

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Land Rover’s Range Rover bills itself as one of the most luxurious off-road SUVs on the market—capable of delivering “performance in varying terrain or conditions.”

To prove it in its 45th year of production, the English-built vehicle’s engineers opted to demonstrate its function in an unusual way.

The company—officially called Jaguar Land Rover—commissioned English artist and bridge builder Steve Messam to build a paper bridge in China that a Range Rover could cross over, according to The Verge. Messam, the media company said, is known for large-scale works.

Watch as a Range Rover tackles something truly off-road: a bridge made of paper.

But this would prove to be a little different. As Messam explained in a video the company used as a marketing tool, building a paper bridge isn’t any different from building a bridge made from stone.

A Bridge of Paper

“So, the way the bridge is built is exactly the same way as a stone bridge is built,” said Messam in the video. “You’ve just got layers, and layers, and layers, and layers, and layers [of paper]. It’s a self-supporting arch, and what that means is it takes the horizontal force—the force at the top—to get transferred into lateral forces.

“So the weight of the force travels down the arch and then pushes out to the abutments,” Messam continued. “And if the abutments are solid, then you can put as much weight on the top.”

It took 7 tons of paper—evenly distributed in a very steep arch—to demonstrate the SUVs off-road capabilities. As the video demonstrates, the Range Rover traversed the bridge seamlessly.

Moments of Celebration

“It’s the most steep angles I have ever been [across],” said Chris Zhou of Land Rover Experience, who drove the SUV across the bridge. “The car is amazing.”

Messam said he not only was impressed by the car, but by the accomplishments of building the bridge itself.

“I’m hungry, I’m tired, but also, I’m really, really happy,” Messam said. “It’s a fantastic thing to do.

“You know, we built a bridge with nothing but paper, just paper,” he continued. “And we put a whole Range Rover overtop of it.

“It’s an incredible achievement,” he said.

   

Tagged categories: Bridges; China; Construction; Europe; Industrial design; Marketing; Program/Project Management

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