G.O.D: west kowloon walled city installation G.O.D: west kowloon walled city installation
may 13, 2010

G.O.D: west kowloon walled city installation

‘west kowloon walled city installation’

what is the indigenous architecture of hong kong? which are the buildings that best represent local culture? the answer lies in the legendary kowloon walled city, the same place that became the creative starting point for hong kong design studio G.O.D‘s latest installation.

rundown urinals reminiscent of the poor sanitary condition of the kowloon walled city

‘west kowloon walled city installation’

douglas young, creator of the project and founder of G.O.D explains his research on the history of this area.

‘it was only by a quirk of history that it was the only place in the former crown colony of hong kong that is outside of the police’s judiciary. as a result it became the home of the untouchables and the social outcasts. it was hong kong’s forbidden city, built not by royalty but by the city’s underclass. the massive structure was demolished in 1993.

in the west, an architect is responsible for a building’s design, the moment construction work is completed is when the appearance of the building is fixed. the building will remain for the rest of its life more or less as that designed by the architect.

in hong kong, the treatment of architecture is somewhat different. once a building is completed and is occupied by residents, modifications will soon appear. window frames may be changed, window-mounted air-conditioners will be installed, a multitude of signages and roof projections will be added, television antennas will sprout from the rooftops. in effect, a native hong kong building will never be completed because tenants will always be making new adaptations to make their living environment a little bit more comfortable. thus the building as a living organism never ceases to evolve.

these indigenous hong kong buildings are harsh environments. there is inadequate space, light and ventilation. sanitary conditions are poor and the workmanship shoddy. yet people are still able to survive and thrive. it is the story of hong kong itself encapsulated in architecture, a place that has succeeded despite the odds.‘ -DY

‘west kowloon walled city installation’

for young’s installation, he created a scaled reproduction of this city with great accuracy in detailing and which physically re-manifests the urban narratives of the kowloon walled city.

‘west kowloon walled city installation’

G.O.D also known as ‘goods of desire’ is a lifestyle brand company based in hong kong. founded in 1996 by douglas young and benjamin lau, G.O.D fuses the traditional and modern, drawing from the past and present of hong kong culture in their designs.

‘west kowloon walled city installation’ at night

‘west kowloon walled city installation’ at night

aerial view of housing units from the real west kowloon walled city before they were demolished

‘west kowloon walled city’ was recently presented by douglas young during the kuala lumpur design week 2010.

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