The first building of its kind ever made, The Arc is a feat of engineering, employing one of nature’s greatest strategies for creating large spaces with minimal structure. Within a human ribcage, a series of ribs working in compression is held in place by a tensioned flexible layer of muscle and skin. This creates a thin but strong encasement for the lungs. In the case of The Arc, a series of intersecting bamboo arches, reaching 14 meters tall and spanning 19 meters wide, are held in compression by a series of tensioned anticlastic gridshells, which derive their strength from curving in two opposite directions. These fields of gridshells appear to drape across the spaces between the impossibly thin arches soaring overhead, giving a whimsy, intimacy, and beauty to the space. Although the gridshells appear to hang from the arches, they actually hold them up.