Figure/Ground > China

Shikumen Houses

Shikumen is a type of tenement housing unique to Shanghai. Not quite Chinese and not quite Western, it was built in the late 19th Century and early 20th Century to house Chinese people in the Western quarters.

The remaining shikumen buildings are badly deteriorated (as most old things are in China), and are now being demolished block by block and replaced with Shikumen-looking buildings that are no longer tenements but expensive resturants, bars and boutiques, where a designer t-shirt costs more than what the people still living in the yet-to-be-demolished building next block would make in a month.

Here is a look at the shikumen housing before they are all gone.

Copyright © Liao Yusheng.