An international group of students under the leadership of TU Eindhoven built a bridge of ice fortified with paper fiber in Finland this winter. The 100 meter long bridge, based on a design of Leonardo da Vinci, has a free span of 50 meters. That is the biggest free span ever of ice construction. When it succeeds, they beated the world record that a group of TU / e students settled in 2014 with a 30-meter ice-cream pod.Back to timeline
Engineering students at Eindhoven University of Technology in Juuka, Finland, have built a bridge basedon an obscure model designed by Leonardo da Vinci in 1501; a project the Renaissance man intended to span 240-metres over the Golden Horn, an offshoot of the Bosphorus River. A single-span structure of that length was thought to be impossible with the limited construction methods of da Vinci’s time, so Eindhoven’s students opted to add a caveat to make their modern attempt extra-challenging, too—they will build a 65-metre version of the bridge out of ice.
The bridge was constructed from ice reinforced with two per cent paper fibre, making it strong enough to bear the weight of a car. The water will be sprayed onto a balloon mould in thin layers, after which the balloon will be removed, leaving only the sluice of ice. This is not the first time Eindhoven’s students have capitalized on Finland’s deep-freeze climate; they previously built an all-ice version of Antoni Gaudi’s Sagrada Familia, which also happened to double as the world’s largest ice dome.
The inspiration for this project came from the Leonardo da Vinci`s bridge. Here is the original sketch by Leonardo da Vinci, made around 500 years ago and The Leonardo Bridge Project headed by Norwegian painter and artist Vebjørn Sand. For us these are the starting points for the design of our Ice Bridge.
Holland is chasing the cold, but for us it's not icy enough in our hometown, so we went to Juuka, Finland. Shift leader and project member Kayleigh explains how we use and resist temperatures of even -30 degrees Celsius, to build our Bridge in Ice. For more photos please go to our online photo Gallery