The ruins of a coal mining village / 废弃的煤矿村庄

I currently conduct research in the mining district in Datong. Yesterday, as I was coming back from a day of fieldwork in a coal mine area in the mountain, I decided to go down the hill by foot. I followed the main road along the ruins of a major village and there were two interesting […]

Bataizi Bell Tower / 八台子大单巴

Being a foreigner living in Datong is not as difficult as one would think. Not only is the city (sometimes) less polluted than Beijing, but it is also very sunny. More over, it is quite easy to ride the bicycle around in the countryside to discover interesting ruins like the yaodong cave dwelling or to […]

Ephemeral buildings, perpetual vernacular architecture: the abandoned yaodong cave dwellings in Shanxi province / 山西省荒废的传统房屋:窑洞

While my visits of abandoned places in China are mainly concentrated on cities, I also enjoy spending time in the countryside. One can find many interesting sites which were left behind. I already wrote a blog article about an abandoned village on an island near Shanghai. But this is not the first time I visit […]

[part 2] Hangzhou Iron and Steel Plant / 杭州钢铁厂

This report is about another part of Hangzhou Iron and Steel that I went to visit last month: the steel wire sub-factory of Hanggang. The advantage of this factory closing down not so long ago is that there are still many remaining objects in the buildings and one can follow better the production process.

Hangzhou Oxygen Plant / 杭洲制氧机厂

The name of this factory is quite ironic: oxygen manufactoring in China! I am very happy to write about this visit of the famous « Hangyang », another abandoned factory in Hangzhou after Hanggang. Again, I spotted the place from a public bus, I was really attracted to its 1950s architecture so I immediately jumped off the […]

Hangzhou Steel Coking Plant / 杭钢焦化厂

So this is the second part of the huge production site of Hangzhou Iron and Steel Industry: after I visited the steel plant, I went to the coking factory, which is just next to it. I am not a technical specialist, but a coking plant is a chemical plant which uses coal heated at very […]

Hangzhou Iron and Steel Plant / 杭州钢铁厂

I must say I was a bit hopeless for Hangzhou in terms of abandoned places because of the rapidity of urban development and of the high ambitions of becoming a first-class city in China (unfortunately this brings almost only negative transformations). But I also realized that, until recently (and it’s still going on in some […]

The last days of Hangzhou Prosperous Industrial Company / 杭州多旺实业有限公司拆迁的过程

When I saw this sign, I thought it was too good to be true and had to come closer: this « prosperous industrial company » is indeed currently undergoing complete demolition. There is nothing much to say about this place – one big warehouse where there used to be a lot of construction equipment – except the […]

Hangzhou’s « liquor barrel » building / 杭州的“大酒桶”楼

This is a report about an « unfinished rotten » building in Hangzhou. The city of Hangzhou is now actively preparing for the G20, which means, like for all mega-events in China, that the ultimate priority is put on the city’s image (市容 shirong): everywhere, one can notice large-scale demolition, renovation or rehabilitation of buildings. That is […]