Secret Slums: Ramshackle Rooftop Villages of Hong Kong
Report by Urbanist, filed under Travel & Spots in the International category.
These hidden shanty towns, usually invisible from the streets below, sprawl like surrealist suburbs across the roofs of one particular of the most densely-populated and costly cities in the world.
The book Portraits From Above meticulously paperwork a series of such informal micro-villages in Hong Kong with pictures, thorough diagrams and stories of existence inside these illicit rooftop communities.
Although the dwellings are unconventional in form, the book’s drawings are almost deceptively refined, capturing the chaos in clean black-on-white architectural lines.
Ad hoc architecture at its strangest, these structures are not governed by constructing codes or compliance troubles. Identified components from sheet metal and scrap wood to discarded plastic and broken brick shape residence walls and the narrow halls in between residences.
Naturally, 1 downside of this kind of unplanned habitats are the series of energy and waste management concerns that go with the territory.
In spite of residing on the fringes – or perhaps due to the fact their shared connection – there are sturdy social ties among rooftop dwellers, and they have been welcoming to the authors of this book, Stefan Canham and Rufina Wu, who sought to discover a lot more about how individuals reside in this kind of offbeat accommodations. In numerous techniques, also, these mini-cities are like smaller expressions of larger-scale phenomenon like the nearby but now-demolished Kowloon Walled City.