KAPKAR/ WVA-6F | Illicit Structure

Illegal rooftop installation

KAPKAR / WVA-6F is a “rooftop structure” based on different spatial themes that play a role in Hong Kong. Illegal constructions largely determine the identity of the city. In addition to its formal high-rise architecture, Hong Kong is known for its sheer amount of street advertising that often extends far across the street illegally.

Another phenomenon are the countless markets with self-build constructions, which are often very ingenious and can be considered spatially very interesting in the urban fabric. In addition, there are some more hidden, often illegal, houses on top of the roofs of old buildings. Sometimes these are complete neighborhoods with their own environment. This is very interesting. All these phenomena make the city what it is. The city council naturally wants, as always, to regulate everything and make it tidy. But that does not fit with the Chinese mentality.

I have translated this spatial problem into an illegal roof structure, a hybrid between an animal and a machine. It deliberately does not look like a house, but the materials used are the same as those used to manufacture these houses or constructions. It is a transformer that, based on the same theme and content, has become a completely different shape that addresses this illegal spatial theme.

year: 2012
location: Wan Chai, Hong Kong
organization: Wan Chai Visual Archive
curator: Alvin Yip
exhibition: Bi-City Biennale for Architecture\Urbanism, Hong Kong ‘Tri-ciprocal Cities’
February 15 – April 24, 2012
manufacture: Sunny Metal Workshop, Frank Havermans
video: interview Kevin NG, edited by Woody Yip
© photography Louise Wan Sze Lo, Woody Yip, Albert Poon

supported by: Mondrian Fund, Kingdom of The Netherlands Hong Kong/ Robbert Schuddeboom, ACTS/Carl Gouw, Hong Kong Polytechnic University, RICE lab

4th Bi-City Biennale of Urbanism\Architecture Hong Kong 2012


The construction, which is caged on one side of the roof, has limited freedom of movement. It stands on wheels and can be placed in various positions. The most important is the position where the sign hangs over the street, this is the most illegal position. When there are difficulties with the city administration or police who increasingly take action against illegal things in the city, the work withdraws to the roof.

In this position, out of sight, it is legal again. It can also be placed over the side wall or over the back wall. In this way, the illegal and legal status of the work can be expressly manipulated to raise a discussion about this theme in the city..


error: Content is protected!