World record Lego Bridge forms centrepiece of ICE exhibition
A Guinness World Record-breaking suspension bridge made entirely out of Lego has gone on display at the Institution of Civil Engineers in London.
The Lego Bridge stands over three metres tall and spans 31 metres. The structure weighs 750 kg and is made up of more than 200,000 individual plastic bricks.
It was designed and built by Duncan Titmarsh, the UK’s only certified Lego professional, and his company Bright Bricks. Engineering design input was provided by Aecom bridge engineer Robin Sham.
It took the Bright Bricks team a total of 650 hours to construct the bridge. It was a mixture of offsite and onsite construction. The bridge was first assembled, and the world record broken, at Weydon School’s sports hall in Farnham, Surrey.
The structure is now at the centre of a new Bridge Engineering exhibition at the Institution of Civil Engineers (ICE) in Great George Street, London, which is open until April 2017.
The exhibition guides visitors on a tour of structures through the years from Thomas Telford’s Menai Strait suspension bridge, to the Severn Bridge and Scotland’s Queensferry Crossing. An interactive zone allows visitors and children to become civil engineers for the day by constructing their own bridges.
Robin Sham said: “Bridges connect people and places, both physically and emotionally. The ICE’s visionary Lego Bridge project connects civil engineers with the public, demonstrating the monumental accomplishments of civil engineering. Using familiar Lego bricks to demystify and showcase the extraordinary feats of engineers, I hope the next generation will be inspired to consider engineering as a career.”
Claire Gott, design manager at WSP Parsons Brinckerhoff, whose bridge engineers oversaw the construction of the Lego Bridge, said: "The construction was a fantastic opportunity to see civil engineering in action while using a material we all know and love. Bridges are normally built out of things like steel and concrete – engineers know nearly everything there is about those types of materials, and can predict their physical behaviours. As a construction material, we didn't know much about the material properties of Lego so it was really exciting to see actual bridge engineers finding solutions to ensure this vast model suspension bridge remained upright."
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This article was published on 18 Oct 2016 (last updated on 19 Oct 2016).