Sunday, April 25, 2010


As reader andru pointed out, a post about the fabulous "man-made island" of Gunkanjima is pretty much in order: Gunkanjima (literally Battleship Island, its actual name is Hashima) is located a few kilometers off the coast of Nagasaki, Japan. It was used from the late nineteenth centuries until around 1970 for mining coal, and its main feature are the 9-story apartment blocks created in the 1910s, the first high-rises ever built in Japan.

Today, the island is abandoned and derelict, awaiting possible restoration as a museum as a museum. The stark visual impact of the ghost houses has been captured in multiple photography series in the last few years. As international attention is rising, it appears that the island has recently reopened for traffic, and there is also a motion in place to submit the island as a World Heritage Site.

BLDGBLOG: Gunkanjima Island

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