Gleaming Ripple

This project by Oscar Yu, a student at Curtin University, seeks to design a resting structure made out of steel for visitors at the Hong Kong Museum of Coastal Defence, which also serves to commemorate soldiers who had sacrificed their lives in the Battle of Hong Kong.

Memorial architecture is often regarded as heavy, moody or even unfavourable through its choice of material, colour or light. Given that, can it be designed differently? Can it be embraced by lightness? If so, the gesture of letting nature in could inspire more reflection or interaction with the audience.

The project is located along the shoreline, where the resting zone is oriented toward the east of Victoria Harbour. Plastic kinetic modules are installed on the steel framework, which also form the façade of the steel hut. Each of them is engraved with the name of a sacrificed soldier. During the day, these modules are designed to ‘wave’ in the breeze and shine under the sunlight. At night, the engraved names on these modules would light up.

The intention was to create a subtle experience triggered by natural elements. When visitors walk by the memorial, these modules move in the wind, similar to how plants sway in the breeze. Also, under sunlight, the shining modules would attract the sight of visitors, and they may start to focus on the names on the kinetic modules. The interaction of the modules with nature seeks to create a sense of life or presence for the visitors as they travel along the coast. This setting can provoke certain emotions for the visitors, as the intended interaction is silent and passive, the anticipated effect welcoming and soft, rather than grand and overwhelming like other memorial architecture.

Low-density plastic sheets are used for the kinetic modules so that they are ‘elastic’ enough to move in the wind. Steel plates are used for ‘transparency’ to create the long skeletal structure, which helps to emphasise the fa?ade filled with the plastic kinetic modules. Laminated plywood is used to create the smooth curvature of the seating, with the form following the overall structural shape.

Student Name: Oscar Yu Ka Fu
School: Faculty of Humanities, Curtin University
Project Name: Gleaming Ripple
Location: Hong Kong Museum of Coastal Defence, Hong Kong
Site Area: 100 square metres
Images: Oscar Yu Ka Fu