The Cu-break

Team Leader:
Lam Joshua Wai Hon

Team Member:
Ng Weng In


Crafted by nature, Po Pin Chau was sculpted into a natural marvel of volcanic hexagonal column arrays and valleys that triumphs over any artificial intervention. Nature presents an overwhelming open museum for people to enjoy, where architecture and intervention shall subside, by morphing and resembling, as a gesture of gratitude to the nature. Cu-break ideologically reiterates as a man-made nature of the environment, making the architecture and intervention geological and ecologically coherent with the site.

Architecture of the Hexagonal Strata

No one can resist the beauty of Po Pin Chau and its meticulous natural architecture. Echoing the dramatic inclined landform of Po Pin Chau, the viewing platform Cu-break resembles its inclination, framing the view towards the geological exhibit as an open museum. Massing splits to create entrance as the wave-carved peninsula and island. Angled trellis of the Cu-break abstracts the interplay of light and shade of hexagonal column array, where split and creases remind the geological dykes of Po Pin Chau. From a seaward perspective featured by boat tour to the UNESCO Geopark, the human-crafted Cu-break reinterprets the natural landform of Po Pin Chau. Nature builds geological marvels, and we build to respect it as a morphed nature.

Inspired by titled hexagonal strata where rock meets the water, the entrance feature and photo taking points morph the natural shore landscape into rockhead-like benches and features. Rather than a prominent intervention for quick snapshot, the design encourages visitors to slow down, take a seat and enjoy nature beyond taking pictures. The design blends into the surrounding landscape as if a rockhead revealed on ground, integrating into the environment.

Integration with the Environment 

Climbing green on the top trellis resembles vegetation atop of Po Pin Chau. With herbaceous climbing plants, this provides a condition for integration with the natural food chain, where herbaceous plants, invertebrates and birds in turn are in turn fed in the ecosystem. By providing conditions to harness the surrounding ecosystem, Cu-break is readily integrated with the site. The viewing platform Cu-break sits on the existing aerial photo control point, reusing the foundation structure as a basis for further build-up and reducing disturbance to virgin sites on the cliff. Reconstituted timber of the viewing platform is made of locally felled trees wherever possible.


Minimising environmental disturbance during in-situ construction, MiC would be employed for steel structural module of the viewing platform. The MiC modules, divided depending on allowable loading, would be airlifted to the site and temporary operation platform, as the logistic of the Architectural Services Department’s The Serpentine star glazing facilities. Despite the apparent logistic difficulty, the construction method would drastically improve the constructability and site safety on the cliff and mitigate the environmental disturbance by a shortened construction schedule.

Nature crafts and builds landform, so does human beings. Rather than resisting to build in the natural setting, Cu-break is built with respect to it as a morphed nature.