Dezeen's A-Zdvent calendar: Pont de Singe by Olivier Grossetête

Three enormous helium balloons supported the hazardous elevated pathway of Olivier Grossetête's Pont de Singe, the letter P in our alphabetical countdown of iconic bridge design.

The French artist created Pont de Singe, which means "monkey bridge", for the 2012 edition of the Tatton Park Biennial of artistic experimentation.

It was installed over a lake in Tatton Park, a historic estate in north-west England. Located in the Japanese garden, it comprised a cedar wood rope bridge held aloft by three equally sized balloons.

Pont de Singe balloon bridge by Olivier Grossetête

According to Grossetête, the "featherweight" bridge was theoretically strong enough to hold the weight of a person. But biennial visitors were banned from crossing, presumably because many would lose their balance and tumble into the waters below.

"I wanted to start from the idea of ​​a hanging bridge for its evocative and poetic potential," said the artist. "So I reversed, with three large helium balloons, the [usual] curvature of a rope bridge suspended over a body of water."

All three balloons were located near the centre of the bridge, meaning the two ends trailed down into the water, making it even more difficult for anyone to climb up.

Pont de Singe balloon bridge by Olivier Grossetête

The nature of using helium meant that the bridge could only remain in place for a short duration.

The artist had previously experimented with another floating bridge in his 2007 project Pont Suspendu, where he used a cluster of helium balloons to float a small bridge structure into the sky.

In the spirit of an advent calendar, Dezeen is counting down the days until Christmas with an A to Z of iconic contemporary bridges. See all the bridges in our A-Zdvent calendar so far »