Cut & Place

Team Leader:
Au Fai

Team Members:
Leung Janice
Wan King Kit


No architecture or landscape design should overwhelm and damage the phenomenal scenery and the beautiful rock formation on the site. Our primary design intention is to enrich and improve the hiking experience by minimizing architectural intention and utilizing the existing materials on site. Instead of keeping the site totally untouched, we propose the action of “Cut and Place”, with discretion and care for the natural environment.

Action 1: Cutting with Discretion

We propose to improve the entrance experience by discretely cutting and carving out part of the steep rock body at the entrance (Location 1). The existing entrance stair is rerouted and situated onto the cut surfaces of the rock, meandering in a way to allow one’s intimate spatial experience with the rock formation while walking uphill. All rocks being carved out at Location 1 are used for the making of 450x450x450mm Gabion modular blocks which becomes the primary design element for photo taking points at Location 3, 4, 5 and 6, and also the viewing platform at location 7.

Action 2: Placing with Care

These 450x450x450mm Gabion modular blocks being filled up with carved-out rock and covered with wooden tops are placed carefully onto various site locations and serve multiple functions. As there are many indistinct and seasonally overgrown trails on site, it often makes hikers’ way-finding difficult. At the key junctions of Location 3,4, 5 and 6, these blocks become the beckoning signage elements to lead hikers’ way towards the viewing platform. And these blocks also offer hikers a resting moment while they can take a seat and enjoy the breath-taking scenery. At Location 7, the viewing platform is made of multiple cross- laminated wood floors, rotating and descending subtly to respond to the existing topography. The Gabion blocks are used as weights to stabilize the wooden platform on the slope, whilst also functioned for sitting.

This proposal defies the desire of constructing additional architectural forms and structures, and keeps the use of additional building materials to the minimum. The only intense cutting action at the entrance reinforces and celebrates the beautiful nature of the rock formation.