Between the 1950s and mid-'90s, tens of thousands of immigrants constructed a towering community 12 stories high across a 6.4-acre lot in Hong Kong.
It was called the Kowloon Walled City.
With a population of 33,000 squeezed into a tiny lot, at its peak the city was 119 times as dense as present-day New York City. Although it faced rampant crime and poor sanitation, the city was impressively self-sustainable until its demolition in 1993.
In the late '80s, Canadian photographer Greg Girard found his way into the windowless world.
He shared photos and thoughts about his time in Kowloon Walled City with Business Insider. You can check out the rest, along with essays and work from photographer Ian Lambot, in "City of Darkness: Revisited."
Though Hong Kong had been under British rule for decades by the time construction began, a clause in an 1842 treaty meant China still owned the property that would become Kowloon. Caught in legal limbo, it was effectively lawless.
By 1986, the Walled City had caught the attention of photographer Greg Girard. Girard would spend the next four years in and out of the city, capturing daily life inside its teetering walls.
The Lego-like city was built over decades, as residents simply stacked rooms one on top of another. The end result "looked formidable," Girard tells Tech Insider, "but who knows?"
See the rest of the story at Business Insider