A detailed slice of Hong Kong's 'lawless' walled city

Though it was demolished over two decades ago, Hong Kong's Kowloon Walled City is still emblematic of the kind of intense overcrowding usually seen in dystopian science fiction, so much so that to this day it inspires post-mortem maps, renderings in Lego, even Japanese arcades. At the height of its growth, the largely unsupervised encampment that the South China Morning Post once called "a lawless vacuum" where brothels and gambling hubs "operated with impunity" once crammed some 50,000 residents—all of them essentially squatters—into an area of about 290,000 square feet.

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Just before the complex was razed, a Japanese team created an amazingly detailed cross-section, recently turned up by Architizer and pictured in full below. Care to join us on a deep dive into architectural anarchy?

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Image via Architizer
↑The complex comprised some 500 buildings, affording an average of about 40 square feet per person. In the center bloc pictured above, a resident tears down an interior wall with a pickaxe, while some kind of industrial kitchen operates in a room below.

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Image via Architizer
↑Trash collects in-between buildings and electrical wiring snakes down the sides. In an alleyway, a man uses an umbrella to shield himself from a dripping water pipe.

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Image via Architizer
↑The government managed to evict the residents of the Walled City in 1992, and it was leveled in 1993. The spot where it used to stand, not too far from Zaha Hadid's Innovation Tower, has been turned into a park. Above, construction begins on the rooftop, in the middle of a panoply of T.V. antennae.

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Image via Architizer


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