How Guangzhou's Landmark Holdout Building Got Stuck

By Tristin Zhang, December 15, 2017

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Behind the Concrete is a monthly snippet where we introduce a piece of architecture that has a unique design and/or interesting story.

Last month in Shenzhen, a long-standing holdout building that has been struggling to survive for the past seven years was finally torn down for good. But in Guangzhou, the most famous (or notorious) holdout has managed to stand erect against all odds.

Known as ‘No. 28 on Yongxing Jie,’ the eight-story yellow residential building encircled by a ring-shaped overpass in Haizhu District is one of Guangzhou’s most tenacious holdouts. The building was scheduled to be removed 10 years ago to construct the Zhoutouzui Tunnel, which now connects Haizhu with Fangcun via the Pearl River.

Guo Zhiming and his brother, the last household of the holdout, however, refused to move out of their 30-square-meter home on the ground floor, according to a Southern Metropolis Daily report. They have been chewing over compensation for seven years.

Lucky for Guo, electricity and water remain in supply, and bus stations and supermarkets are within walking distance.

He once told Southern Metropolis Daily reporters: “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, on the other hand, chose to stay put.

Click here for more Behind the Concrete.

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