If you wanted to build the world's longest Lego bridge, who would you call? The Institution of Civil Engineers (ICE) would be a good shout, as its members should know a thing or two about building bridges.
The results are a success and can be seen in this new free exhibition. The replica of the Severn Bridge is a monstrous 34 metres in length, with an impressive 16 metre span, and it weighs over half a tonne. In case you were wondering (let's face it, you were), it took 205,000 bricks to make. There's a video here on how it was built.
If you thought building a suspension bridge out of Lego would be tricky, a demonstration with Lego pieces will show you to be wrong — Lego actually has a lot of tension. The record-breaking bridge is strictly not to be touched, but there are Lego kits in the exhibition, where visitors can build their own smaller versions — although you might want you to set a couple of hours aside for this.
The Lego bridge dominates this exhibition, but it's not the only thing to see. Learn about the history of the different types of bridges and how bridge building has evolved from aqueducts to the plans for the future Rotherhithe Bridge. There's even a working model of the Rotherhithe Bridge, where you can press a button to see how the bridge raises and lowers to allow boats through.
It's not all about the bridges though. There's a virtual reality (VR) headset which visitors can use to wander around an oil refinery or Victoria station. Arrive at the station ticket hall, jump the barriers (don't do this in real life) and head down to the platform where typically rude commuters will bump into you as you wait for the train — sadly you can't board the train to the next stop. What's VR got to do with bridge? It's a key tool for engineers as it's the next evolution in computer modelling, but for exhibition visitors it's good fun too.
The Lego bridge is the headline item here, but it's part of a fascinating wider exhibition.
ICE Bridge Engineering is on at One Great George Street until April 2017. The exhibition is only open Monday to Friday, 10-5. Entrance is free.