The infamous Chungking Mansions

Chungking mansions, hong kong

An entire city neighborhood in one building.

Kowloon Walled City was a bizarre urban phenomenon that existed in Hong Kong from 1898 until it’s demolition in 1993. Originally a Chinese military fort, unregulated construction within and on top of its walls resulted in essentially a vertical shanty town; 14 stories of haphazard, mostly windowless, airless units no bigger than 250 sq ft that 33,000 people called home. The population density for this relatively small area was a staggering 1,255,000 people per square kilometer. I first had images of this crazy place implanted in my brain in the early 90’s when I saw Greg Girard’s remarkable images in National Geographic magazine.

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