Rock Trail, Set Sail

Team Leader:
Kung Yick Ho Alvin

Team Members:
Law Chun Wai
Wong Wai Hou


A landscape to promote nature, reflecting sailing culture of Sai Kung

The Hong Kong UNESCO Global Geopark has designed 2 boat-tour and 9 land-tour routes.  Among the land-routes, the proximate High Island Geo Trail, together with this hiking track leading to the Viewing Platform overlooking Po Pin Chau, are one of the most accessible and manageable destinations for amateur.

The intervention signifies the debut voyage to explore Hong Kong’s natural wonders from this Sai Kung volcanic rock region.  Like the metaphor of sailing on water, leaving no trace as you travel is the message we advocate.

FLYING SAILS – Welcoming feature for visitors’ comfort, harmonious to nature

Leaving the High Island Reservoir Monument, visitors’ attention is caught by the sail-like entrance feature.  Sinuous sails up in the air are way-finder visible from distance, also enabling sun shading for human comfort at gathering point to the north.

The pair of lightweight roofs were created from solid timber battens.  Hikers are comfortably shaded when setting off, climbing up the steep steps.  The piers, serving as signage and display, were optimized to bridge over the stairs diagonally to minimize structural footings, in harmony with the natural landscape.

ROWING OARS – Prefabricated modules permeable to wind, flexible to cost

Being approached from the Flying Sails, the Photo Taking Points for East Dam unveil as slanted permeable screens to lessen the uplift wind, embracing the trigonometric station and framing the Reservoir view.  Before the screen alike series of rowing oars, benches are available facing East Dam.

Prefabricated timber modules were meticulously planned to adapt to various, unexpected environment conditions and replicate to introverted setting for Photo Taking Point for Kim Chu Wan.  With the scalable principle, the ‘Oars’ can be flexibly adjusted in length or density responding to cost, without fully sacrificing the aesthetics.

FLOATING DECK – Striking and responsive intervention, derived from topography

After a break at the Photo Taking shelter, the Viewing Platform on a Headland Overlooking Po Pin Chau is almost within visitors’ sight.  The observation deck, taking a boat form, reflects the abundance of water to this area and recalls the sailing culture of Sai Kung.  On the deck one enjoys the best view overlooking the stack.

Beyond representation, the plate-shape geometry was site specific, embedding the concrete cross structure.  The cantilevered rim was a response to limit the footing and provide sufficient area for twenty-five people.  Raised parts were integrated as seating and barrier towards slopes for safety.  The topographical manipulations of other edges were derived from the trail’s datum to morph into the surroundings.

Biomorphic geometry inspired by landform, crafted from local timbers

As a shelter along the journey, Photo Taking Point for Kim Chu Wan appears to mimic hexagonal rock columns.  Indeed, it was spatially inspired by the waterway through the vertical sea stack between Po Pin Chau and High Island.  Such biomorphic gesture and use of local timber are to achieve a disappearing landscape.  The latter strategy reduces carbon footprint and embodied energy during fabrication.