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We are not afraid of unusual projects:

Record Lego® - Bridge

Lego Brige Entwurf T. Unterlandstättner - M. Schmöller

For a staff day of the Management Consulting Agency PricewaterhouseCoopers (PWC), immersive SIM engineering, in cooperation with Event Agency FLOWmotion, the Architect's Office T. Unterlandstättner - M. Schmöller and the Lego specialist Paul Friese (event management), developed a walkable bridge entirely made of Lego for entry in the Guinness Book of Records.

The scope:

Apart from using Lego parts as rather unusual material for static constructions the specifications included the following demands:

  1. Construction period beginning from single parts to first walk on the bridge approx. 60 min
  2. more than 500 persons being inaugurated directly before starting the project must be able to operate simultaneously
  3. after the event, the Lego parts would be contributed to kindergartens
  4. maximum load in action: 2-3 persons
  5. bridge span: 3 m
  6. no prototype or testing of the structure possible beforehand

The development:

Finite Elements with Finit Elements: FE - analyses Lego bricks

Point 1. and 2. made some conceivable building methods impossible and required a construction by modules. Point 1. and 3. forbade the use of adhesive.

A basic sub-construction made of Lego was not required, but we would not be engineers, if that had not waked our ambition...

After overcoming some non-technical starting problems ("where is the box with Lego parts from my childhood", or "how do I explain to my children that Daddy now needs the Lego bricks for some time"), our office rather resembled a kindergarten (you can surely imagine the astonished faces of suppliers watching engineers crawling on the ground between mountains of Lego bricks).

The experience gathered by those studies, analytical calculations and FEM analyses finally resulted in constructing an unconventional framework made of Lego beams without tensile loads, supporting a base plate also made of Lego to be walked on. The base plate provides for the lateral stability of the construction. In this way the bridge could be completely realized with Lego, besides of some aluminum connecting links.

The event:

Building up the bridge took place at Munich Ungererbad on 17th August 2001, was a total success and big fun for all.

Technical data:

P.S: Not long before dismantling after success, the bridge prooved reliability being loaded by 12 persons (there wasn't enough space for more ...)

What the press wrote (translations from german originals):

Münchner Merkur 18./19. August 2001:

Guinness record: Crossing brook walking over Lego bridge
Lego Brücke für Guinnesbuch der Rekorde (Münchner Merkur)

Already for a long time not only such simple best performances like the highest high jump or the oldest turtle are to be found in the Guinness Book of Records. Nowadays, a good deal of sense for strange ideas is helpful to be recorded in the list of world-wide records - as can be said of the 530 colleagues of PricewaterhouseCoopers, who set up a record on Friday at the location of Ungerer baths: in scarcely one and a quarter hours they built a bridge made of Lego, over which Thomas Balgheim and Wolfgang Rieder dry-shod crossed the brook running through the baths.

mei/Photo: rk

Süddeutsche Zeitung 20. August 2001:

It is to be hoped that it's Lego
Lego Brücke für Guinnesbuch der Rekorde (SZ)

With Lego, one actually imagines small knight's castles or miniature fire stations, which are assembled more or less stable by children at Christmas. What other things can be built with the multicolored plastic butts was shown by 530 coworkers of the PricewaterhouseCoopers management consultation agency on Friday. In less than one hour and 15 minutes they established a bridge about five meters long over the brook running through the Ungerer baths, made of 120000 individual Lego parts. While playing " Simply the best ", Thomas Balgheim and Wolfgang Rieder of the management tested the stability of the unusual construction. As reward for the successful venture they are looking forward to the entry in the Guinness Book of Records 2002. According to the motto of the meeting "discover worlds - worlds unite" the toys will be contributed to kindergartens in Germany and Romania.

mf/Photo: Andreas Heddergott

TZ 20. August 2001:

Record made of Lego
Lego Brücke für Guinnesbuch der Rekorde (TZ)

After one and a quarter hours Wolfgang Rieder (left) and Thomas Balgheim, coworkers of a management consultation agency, had it done: with 530 assistants, the two had built the longest accessible bridge of the world, made of 120000 Lego parts in the Ungerer baths. The entry in the Guiness Book is secured.

Photo: Peter Klein