Team Leader:
Tsang Wing Kay

Team Members:
Hung Chi Lok Ernest
Leung Cynthia Sin Tone
Chong Jessica Ho Ching

If Earth is a canvas painted by the Creator, our role is to observe and co-create with Nature. Our proposal approaches the project not only as new infrastructure that facilitates a safe hiking experience, but also as a series of nature-inspired land art that subtly integrates with the existing. The practical interventions harmonize as an ongoing dialectic rather than static repose. It enriches visitor’s experience of the UNESCO Geopark and provokes appreciation of coastal geological features especially at Po Pin Chau.

Concept, Harmonisation with Natural Context, & Response to Theme

The design takes inspiration from the iconic hexagonal columnar. Abstraction is taken from the efficient hexagon grid, the most stable form many natural elements reach after evolution. Employing corten as the main material, the metal sheets flexure and fold to create strong self-standing structures. 

Various design typologies are then derived from the grid with site-specific adaptations. At the entrance, a series of folded panels welcomes hikers through the stairs. At photo-taking points, minimal ground guides lead hikers to magnificent viewpoints. At geographically-cautious locations, the hexagonal strips visualize boundaries, warning trespass to cliffs, preventing soil erosion and keeping a clear surrounding view. These planes sometimes fold upwards, creating benches to rest and balustrades to protect.

The overall design minimises impact & footprint with simple foundation and shallow anchors. By reinforcing the disrepaired manmade cross at the Headland, the viewing platform stands on it. It extends from the masonry structure and arouses awareness towards 4 other views at site, easing traffic congested for Po Pin Chau.

The design proposes coexistence with landscape conditions without heavy excavation, clearance and paving. Stones & vegetation protrude into the platform and extend to form safer steps and paths. Locally-sourced volcanic rocks create seatings, steps & pillar signage at necessary locations. This blending composition with landscape in combination with awe-inspiring structure is practiced widely in Nordic scenic trails. 

Sustainability, Ease of Maintenance & Environmental Considerations

The design seeks for sustainable development and adopts environmentally-friendly materials. Low-maintenance corten forms oxidised self-protective layers that naturally avoid further corrosion, safe for plant growth and has high tensile strength with minimal thickness. It serves better than concrete/stone, which is heavy for construction & visually-overwhelming; and more durable than timber towards infestation, extreme weather, high humidity & salinity.

Minimised footprint & intervention minimise overall maintenance. Locally-sourced rocks also reduce carbon footprint and environmental impact.

Constructability & Modularisation

Employing a hexagonal grid & creative repetitive symmetries, the design is modularized for easy off-site prefabrication, efficient transport and simple on-site mechanical assembly. Taking the viewing platform for example, the 2 types of balustrades are standardised panels in 1.1×1.2m. The base is composed of 4 major legs whose varying lengths are derived from the same mould with variants of 1.2m tapering modules. 

The prefab-folded corten sheets are light for transport and easy to cast into shallow foundation/ stable rock forms.

Cost Effectiveness

With minimal footprint and low maintenance material, the design incurs relatively low whole-life-cycle costs. According to RLB’s Price Report June2021, the budget is estimated within HK$10M.