informal rooftop communities, hong kong, china

Self-built settlements on the roofs of high-rise buildings have been an integral part of Hong Kong’s history for over half a century. Rooftop structures range from basic shelters for the disadvantaged to intricate multi-storey constructions equipped with the amenities of modern life. Rufina Wu (Canada) and Stefan Canham (Germany) utilize the tools of an architect and the tools of a photographer to document rooftop communities on five buildings located in older districts in the Kowloon Peninsula, slated for redevelopment by the Urban Renewal Authority of Hong Kong. Text records of the residents’ stories, measured drawings of each distinct rooftop structure, and high-resolution images of the domestic interiors of more than twenty households offer an unprecedented insight into the everyday life on Hong Kong’s rooftops.  (text written by Wu and Canham, edited by Janz for the smallBIG show)

Portraits from above: Hong Kong’s informal rooftop communities by Rufina Wu and Stefan Canham

@ “small architecture BIG LANDSCAPES” show, Swope Art Museum

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Informal rooftop settlement, Hong Kong (photos by Janz)

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Building supplies market, Hong Kong (photos by Janz)

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