@ENPC – Mar. 2013 – A. Lebée, C. Chalumeaux


From design to fabrication in five days… This yearly workshop mixes third year engineering and architecture students in order to design and build a 6m span cardboard footbridge which must carry one pedestrian. They investigate corrugated and honeycomb cardboard strength and versatility as construction materials. Moreover, such a span requires detailed structural analysis and design. In the end, students not only get familiar with all the steps of the design process but make the physical experiment with their own body of the full scale realization.



Designing and building a 6m span bridge which can support one person walking. The bridge is made of corrugated cardboard and honeycomb cardboard which may be glued. Students are first in groups of 5 for the preliminary design. Then they are gathered in groups of ten for the construction.


This intensive workshop is an opportunity for students to work together on a project they build and test in the end. Designing a bridge is indeed a difficult exercise which requires to discover all aspects of civil engineering and architecture. Indeed corrugated cardboard may be a rather strong construction material only if it is cleverly used. A 6m span bridge requires detailed calculation of the load capacity of the bridge and the final test (and failure) of the bridge is a very instructive experience for students


Teaching Material


Mar. 2016 

Mar. 2015 

Bow String Footbridge

Apr. 2013 

Features of the 2013 edition

For this third edition, in addition to simple face corrugated cardboard, honeycomb cardboard panels were introduced. This allowed larger span for the bridges. We had two very interesting footbridges suggested by a very motivated team of students: the Bow String Footbridge, and the Minimal Footbridge

Bow String Footbridge

The curved deck of this footbridge is suspended to two arches. The thrust of the arches is carried by the deck. The arches were checked with respect to global buckling. Note that the rigid rotation of the arches is prevented at second order because the deck side is both curved in and outside its plane.

Minimal Footbridge

Students who designed this footbridge wanted to have the simplest form as possible, running from a high point to a lower one. The came up with this U-shaped beam, gently climbing which ends as a box beam.


Teachers: A. lebée, C. Chalumeaux

Bow String Footbridge: Lancelot RIPLEY, Thomas SORAIS, Antoine MARTIN, Mathieu BAILLY, Laurent LAFLECHE, Germain HOT, Ingrid BERTIN, Paul BERTHELOT, Stessy BRANES, Mathieu SCALA

Minimal Footbridge: Thibault DAVAL, Louis VIGER, Louis FUENTES, Ghali FIKRIEL, Mathilde GATTEGNO, Emmanuelle ANTOINE, Pierre-Louis CAMPEOTTO, Man-Ting  TRAN, Charlotte PERICCHI, Angeliki PAPAVASILEIOU