The expression 'House of Cards', used when a structure, situation or institution is on the verge of collapse, is derived from what happens when one tries to build anything using a deck of playing cards. However, don't tell that to Iowa resident, Bryan Berg.
This 37-year old stacks cards for a living, and we are not talking puny houses either, but giant replicas of some of the world's most recognizable icons - Like France's Eiffel tower and Disneyworld's Cinderella castle.
Introduced to cardstacking by his grandfather when he was just eight, Bryan kept pushing the envelope with bigger and sturdier structures, improving his technique as he went along. Over the last 20 years, he has built a 400ft. hotel complete with Reception, bedroom, an attached bath and even a bed, a sofa he could actually sit on, the White House and many other cool structures. His tallest one to date, is a 26ft. replica of the Dallas skyline that was built using 1,060 decks of cards - A feat that allowed him to beat his own Guinness World Record for the eight time!
He also holds the record for the World's largest house of freestyle playing cards, a category that created specially for him - for his replica of the Venetian Macau Resort hotel. The effort, which took him 44 days was built using 4,000 card decks or 219,000 individual cards. The key word here of course is freestanding - For impossible as it may sound, these amazing structures are not glued or attached together in any way.
The Iowa resident who has an undergraduate degree in Architecture and a Masters in Design Studies, says that all his structures are built with great precision, with the cards placed at right angles so, that they support each other from falling or bending over from the weight.
Unfortunately, what goes up has to come down, especially in this case since it is impossible to preserve the card 'art' forever. While most artists would see that as a negative given the amount of time it takes to erect them, Bryan relishes blowing them down, by either knocking them over or using a leaf blower. He prefers the latter, because he enjoys seeing the towers sway in the wind and then collapse under their own weight or from the impact of another collapsing part. To see more of Bryan's work and get some tips about you can create your own masterpieces, go to cardstacker.com.
Resources: areaofdesign.com, dailymail.co.uk