The Serpentine (Stargazing Landscape) by Architectural Services Department HKSAR
2018 - 2019, Golden A' Landscape Planning and Garden Design Award Winner
Inspiration
The design is inspired by nature and for admiring nature. The curved ergonomics stargazing profile not just resembles the dynamics of the scenic shoreline of Sai Kung, but becomes a harmonic overtone of nearby landscape. A tranquil and comfortable spot for the busy Hong Konger to lie down and feel the beauty of the night sky at the middle of a country park trail. The light wood color with a touch of timber grain blends the design into Mother Nature.
Creativity
As a counterpart to the vivid city, the design is a window to unveil the natural side of Hong Kong to local and tourist hikers, provoking a rethink of the image of Hong Kong. The conscious organic necklace-form respected the existing vegetation line of the abandoned campsite; which not just allows 360 degree gazing year round, but achieves zero tree felling during its construction. The ergonomically designed sectional profile with reflective tips, tripod-setting hard patch and embedded direction strips facilitate nightlong observations.
Design Challenges
Since it is a common practice that there shall not be any artificial lighting in stargazing point, the major challenge is to allow the users to enjoy the facility safely under low light conditions. The light color scheme and reflective highlights at panel tips allows night visibility of the facility even without torch illumination, which enhanced the safety during use. The central hard-paved patch is designed for tripod setup and long-exposure star photography. Reflective metallic strips were embedded in ground to provide directional guide for easy orientation.
Production Technology
Parametric design tools and 3D prototyping are used for formal exploration and fetching the optimum sitting module profiles. Modular, dry fixing connections and prefabricated design were adopted for the project, Modules were fabricated off-site with high quality assurance. Fast on-site assembly ensures minimal disturbance to natural environment and hikers. Low-maintenance Glass Reinforced Plastic was selected for its high durability and lightweight
       
     
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