Number 28 on Yongxing Jie is an eight-storey apartment building surrounded by a busy overpass in Guangzhou, the capital and largest city of Guangdong, in Southern China.
Its story can be traced back to the year 2008, when a number of buildings in the Haizhu District of Guangzhou were scheduled for demolition in order to construct the Zhoutouzui Tunnel, which now connects Haizhu with Fangcun via the Pearl River.
If most of the residents reached an agreement with developers and decided to sell their homes and relocate, three residents of the now-famous apartment building drove a harder bargain, refusing to abandon their homes unless their demands were met.
And, eventually, developers decided to abandon negotiations and instead build an overpass around the building.
Either way, today, the story of the encircled building is known as Guangzhou’s most tenacious holdout against infrastructure developers.
Number 28 on Yongxing Jie received international news coverage in 2015, when the urban anomaly was captured in photos of the newly-inaugurated Zhoutouzui Tunnel.
People were more interested in the building isolated in the center of an overpass than the state-of-the-art tunnel, and the resilience of its three remaining inhabitants became a news topic.
It seems that the only remaining inhabitants of the eight-storey apartment building were Guo Zhiming and his brother, who refused to move out of their 30-square-meter home, despite having virtually no chance of being compensated by developers after the construction of the encircling overpass.
Lucky for Guo, electricity and water remain in supply, and bus stations and supermarkets are within walking distance.
“Most residents received about RMB400,000 (back in 2011), which, at that time, was enough for them to buy a secondhand apartment. So most took the money to buy another house,” Guo told in an interview and, on the other hand, he chose to stay put.
Number 28 on Yongxing Jie just an example of “dingzihu”, or “nail house”, a term originated in China to describe homes that stood out in the middle of demolished areas, and whose owners resisted to state-ordered evictions.
Images from web – Google Research