Strata

Team Leader:
Lau Susan Ann

Team Members:
Wang Gabriel Tien Yao
Chan Wing Biu

Hong Kong has been gifted by nature with these magnificent geological formations and stunning coastline. Our scheme aims to celebrate this awesome act of nature with gentle additions to the hiking trail which complement the natural surroundings as well as heighten the sense of grandeur of the scenery from the perspective of the hiker.

The beginning of the trail is flagged by a cluster of totems, immediately recognisable as being an artistic replica of the hexagonal columns. Constructed out of recycled timber, it blends in with the landscape without disappearing completely, and its geometry designed to provide visitors with a taste of what is to come. Engraved on the totems is wayfinding signage, clearly signifying visitors to the start of the trail. Ranging from 2.5m-1m in height, these totems will be prefabricated off-site, and supported in-situ by threading through a steel rod anchored on a concrete raft.

It is our intention to keep the design of each of the photo taking points consistent to keep construction costs low and doubly act as clear wayfinding for the hiker. Each of these are envisioned as a large hexagonal ring platform, tilted at a slight gradient, rotated to the ideal vantage point. It gently graces the ground on one side, and hovers above the ground on the other. The ring deck is constructed as a perforated steel deck, which despite being a man-made material, is light, structurally strong and low maintenance, thereby minimising physical and visual disturbance to the nature trail.

The viewing platform overlooking Po Pin Chau acts as the grand finale to the headland trail. The sweeping vista is awesome in itself, however, to accentuate the sense of wonder, our design intends to frame the view and create a sense of theatrical climax for the hiker on approach. When viewed from afar, the viewing platform’s side elevation takes on a triangular form, gradually tapering down towards the direction of Po Pin Chau, following the contour of the slope, and acting as if an arrow directing the hiker’s gaze towards their destination. On approach, the hiker’s view is somewhat blocked at first by the intentional bottleneck and slight ramp upwards, which helps to lift the viewing platform gently off the surface of the trail. The vista gradually widens as the platform splays outwards and the hexagonal ‘curtains’ on both sides are similarly lowered to reveal a grand sweeping vista of the rock formations ahead and sea beyond. The hiker is invited to take a seat and admire the view, or step right up to the platform’s edge which just begins to cantilever off the side of the tumbling hill-face. The hexagonal ‘curtains’ are again pre-fabricated from recycled timber and threaded onto steel posts anchored on the perforated steel deck of the platform. By lifting the structure 600mm off the surface of the terrain, it is hoped that there will be minimal disturbance to the flora and fauna of the environment as well as any wildlife that roams about.