The Last Straw

Team Leader:
Lee Chung Tat

Team Member:
Mak Yung Ka



The idiom “the straw that broke the camel’s back”, carries an important message: the accumulation of ills, when left unamended, will eventually lead to sudden and big consequences. Just like the proverbial voyager who keeps straining his camel, thinking to himself “just one more little straw won’t hurt it”, we humans have been burdening the planet, little by little, with the tremendous damage in ecological balance that is the cost of our economic activities, paying little heed to the signs of climate change, the prelude to irremediable disasters. In the face of the majestic power of nature, as beautifully embodied by the natural formation of hexagonal rock columns on Po Pin Chau, we are as fragile and insignificant as a straw. Yet, whether we continue to strain nature or choose to restrain ourselves will have a decisive effect on the fate of mankind, because we, this generation, could decide how to handle this last straw. By making positive changes in our lifestyle promptly, maybe it is not too late to counteract our wrongdoings which had threatened the ecological balance.

Design of the viewing platform:

The 50m long, two-sided cantilever structure attempts to offer an ultra-wide viewing experience towards Po Pin Chau with the comfort of a flat and elongated platform. The idea of seeking for absolute balance on the edge of a cliff dares visitors to experience the scenery in extreme, while asking them to contemplate on the delicate and precarious relationship between human and nature. The use of perforated mirror stainless steel panels allows passage of rain and wind to reduce air resistance and water load imposed to the structure as well as creating a “camouflage” effect in the natural environment. Making the center as an anchoring point, it sits on an add-on concrete foundation, which is achieved with minimal site formation to the natural landscape.

Design throughout the Journey:

Balancing in the imbalance. Throughout the hiking trail, from the entrance, to both of the photo taking points, a series of interactive art installations related to achieving equilibrium are displayed, for visitors to envisage the significance of maintaining balance.

Entrance steele: The Impossible Rock

Inspired from the art of rock balancing, this entrance steele is made by stacking up three rocks, and connecting them with an axis inside them. With the base of a big rock symbolizing the mountain Fa Shan, and the middle part representing the viewing deck platform structure, and the top part representing Po Pin Chau, creating a 3D road map for the hiking trail, also have the meaning that even though the balance with nature is hard to achieve, it is still possible.

At photo taking point looking over East Dam: The Bench of Give-and-Take

The stone-made round-shaped bench is composed of two parts, the stone sitting panel with a hole in the centre, resting on top of a cone shape stone base. This bench needs to be sitted by two visitors, one balancing out the weight of another. This is to challenge visitors that balancing is about give and take, and involves cooperation. 

At photo taking point looking over Kim Chu Wan: The Hall of Frames