Density Gone Bad

The Walled City of Kowloon, Hong Kong was demolished in 1993, but remains a symbol of what happens when a city evolves anarchically. It was known as 'Hak Nam', or 'City of Darkness.'

January 1, 2010, 11:00 AM PST

By Tim Halbur


James Wegener writes, "The buildings of "Hak Nam" folded into one other in a dense configuration of labyrinthine corridors and seedy brown shacks stacked up 10, 12 and 14 stories high. It was a solid building, 200 x 100 meters, a pulsating anomaly, one of the most densely populated places in the world at the time of its destruction. It was called "the world's first flexible megastructure, the closest thing to a truly self-regulating, self-sufficient, self determining modern city that has ever been built," "an environment as richly varied and as sensual as anything in the heart of the tropical forest." "

Thursday, December 31, 2009 in Design Observer

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