Hong Kong Rooftops: A Village, Ten Stories Up

Wandering down narrow lanes, past rows of makeshift houses, I could be standing in a squatter’s village in the New Territories. Potted plants sigh in the heavy heat of summer. Door gods peel from wooden entranceways. It is quiet. But I’m not in a village — I’m ten stories above a narrow street in Tai […]

Posted in: Asia Pacific, Society and Culture by Christopher DeWolf Comments Off on Hong Kong Rooftops: A Village, Ten Stories Up , , , , , ,

Hong Kong Rooftops: Just Another Tower

There’s nothing particularly special about this building. Built in the 1970s, it’s a highrise like any other, with a handful of small flats on each floor. None of the apartments have balconies; there is no club house or swimming pool; the only bit of shared space, beyond the dimly-lit concrete corridors, is the rooftop, which […]

Posted in: Asia Pacific by Christopher DeWolf Comments Off on Hong Kong Rooftops: Just Another Tower , , ,

Hong Kong Rooftops: Peng Chau

Here on Peng Chau, thirty-five minutes by ferry from Central, the city is but a distant memory, a row of skyscrapers on the horizon. I make my way through sleepy streets to the tallest building on the island, a seven-storey apartment block. It has no guards and no doors to prevent entry to its upper […]

Hong Kong Rooftops: BBQ

There are signs that something is amiss as I make my way up the narrow stairs of this nondescript building, passing by boxes of empty beer bottles towards the smell of charcoal and the sound of laughter. What’s going on becomes clear when I emerge onto the roof, a verdant oasis filled with smoke and […]

Posted in: Asia Pacific, Food, Society and Culture by Christopher DeWolf Comments Off on Hong Kong Rooftops: BBQ , , ,

Hong Kong Rooftops: Fotan

Wah Luen is the cheapest building in Fotan, an out-of-the-way industrial district near Shatin. Since the early 2000s, it has become the epicentre of an artists’ colony populated largely by graduates of the nearby Chinese University. About 100 artists live and work in the area, most of them in high-ceilinged studios in the Wah Luen […]

Posted in: Asia Pacific by Christopher DeWolf Comments Off on Hong Kong Rooftops: Fotan , , ,

Hong Kong Rooftops: Condemned

Forty years might not even be close to a lifetime for most people, but in Hong Kong, it’s enough to witness the birth and death of a neighbourhood. In the mid-1960s, when Cheung Cheuk-kuen and his wife, Cheung Tsui-lin, moved into a flat on the top floor of a building in Kwun Tong, it was […]

Hong Kong Rooftops: Shek Kip Mei

Eddie Lui looks out from atop the Jockey Club Creative Arts Centre, leaning on a cane, contemplating the scene before him. He waves his hand out towards the old housing estates of Shek Kip Mei, their pale yellow paint dulled by the grey skies and damp air. “This is a space where you can really […]

Posted in: Art and Design, Asia Pacific, Society and Culture by Christopher DeWolf Comments Off on Hong Kong Rooftops: Shek Kip Mei , , ,

Hong Kong Rooftops: Russell Street

The tong lau on Russell Street, across from Times Square, is not in the best shape. Walking upstairs from the street, I pass a bookstore and a hair salon; after the third floor, the shops give way to apartments and the stairwell becomes filled with rubbish, its tiles stained by years of grime. By the […]

Posted in: Asia Pacific by Christopher DeWolf Comments Off on Hong Kong Rooftops: Russell Street , , , , ,

New Home, New Roof

Last October I moved to a new apartment — and with a new apartment comes to a new roof to explore. Unfortunately, my new building’s rooftop is far from spacious, with just two narrow platforms accessible through the fire stairs. Ladders lead up to two higher platforms, one atop the elevator shaft and another on […]

Posted in: Asia Pacific by Christopher DeWolf Comments Off on New Home, New Roof , , , ,

My Old Rooftop

Before I moved from the Flower Market to Homantin last year, I went up to my building’s rooftop for a few last photos of the view, which gave out onto the towers of Mongkok on one side and the mountains north of Kowloon on the other.

Posted in: Asia Pacific by Christopher DeWolf Comments Off on My Old Rooftop , , , , ,

Living on the Edge

Rooftop houses in Kwun Tong By the end of this year, Hong Kong’s Buildings Department plans to finish clearing illegal rooftop structures from single-staircase buildings, marking the end of a clearance programme that began in 2001. But illegal rooftop communities continue to thrive, fed by a shortage of centrally located public housing and perennially high […]

Rooftop Voyeur

On the roof of Mirador Mansions, Tsim Sha Tsui, Kowloon

Posted in: Asia Pacific by Christopher DeWolf Comments Off on Rooftop Voyeur , , , , ,

À chacun son toit

Variety of rooftops in Sham Shui Po, Kowloon, Hong Kong

Posted in: Architecture, Asia Pacific by Christopher DeWolf Comments Off on À chacun son toit , , ,

The Teenage City

[vimeo]http://www.vimeo.com/1852925[/vimeo] “The thing to do on prom night 1998 was to take the rented limo up to the lookout on Mount-Royal after a soirée of underage bar-hopping to see the sun rise,” writes Alanah Heffez on Spacing Montreal. “We didn’t make it. Dizzy on newly-discovered drinks, my date and I watched the sun come up […]

Posted in: Asia Pacific, Canada, Demographics, Public Space, Society and Culture by Christopher DeWolf Comments Off on The Teenage City , , , ,