In a city where space is at a premium, where a luxury apartment on the Peak costs more than the GDP of a small nation, and where a serviced apartment in Wanchai can rent for three times the average household income, there is a surprisingly easy way to create space. With a few buckets of cement and a bamboo scaffolding, a contractor can turn your balcony into an extra bedroom or add a solarium on the other side of the back wall. If you live on the top floor, you can even build an entire glass house on the rooftop complete with its own kitchen and bathroom. When it comes to creating liveable space, your imagination – and audacity – are the only limit.
|A new bedroom in the making|
Unauthorized building alterations are everywhere in Hong Kong. They are also against the law. Like jaywalking and downloading movies online, the building of illegal structures is one of those offenses that many commit but no one expects to get caught. While a majority of the city’s illegal structures are safe, many of them pose fire and other public safety risks. Every now and then we hear news stories about...
Read the rest of this essay in No City for Slow Men, available at major bookstores in Hong Kong and at Blacksmith Books.
|No City for Slow Men|