Shanty towns are nothing new in large cities with little (enforced) regulation, but this is something you have to see to believe: everything from small shacks to multi-story structures, individual buildings to entire villages, all spread out in organic mazes over the rooftops of apartment structures and skyscrapers throughout Hong Kong – a set of smaller communities within the larger surrounding city.
In Portraits from Above â€“ Hong Kongâ€™s Informal Rooftop Communities by Rufina Wu and Stefan Canham, a particularly stunning set of rooftop dwelling structures is explored through vivid and though-provoking pictures, drawings, diagrams and the stories of a few families who live their lives in makeshift houses built piece by piece on existing buildings. Who comes toÂ live on rooftops, after all? How? Why?
The penthouse is historically the most prized property of a building, but that was not always the case. Before the introduction of the elevator – an invention that made the tenth floor far more appealing almost overnight – the poorest people were forced to walk the stairs to their high-up homes.