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Canadian Urbanism Uncovered

Favela Japonesa

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A friend’s Portuguese cousin sent these awesome images to him and he duly forwarded them to me. The title really says it all: Favela Japonesa indeed! Of course, perhaps a more flexible usage of the concept is required than the english equivalents shantytown/slum – my mind’s drawing a blank, but in spanish, the word barrio, while carrying the same connotations (particularly in Venezuela), also simply means district or neighbourhood. Whatever the word should be, we like where this idea is headed… for something mildly related, check out the Personal Container Management post (on from November, and to see 50 selected projects utilizing shipping containers try






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  1. The Holiday Inn at Yorkdale was built on a similar principle. Each room in the hotel consists of a concrete block made elsewhere and shipped to the site, with plumbing already installed. The rooms were piled together and fastened down somehow. Though it is less colourful, the principle is somewhat the same.

  2. Damn, lookit all those bikes in the first pic…

  3. there are apartment buildings similar to these in berlin, and when residency declined, they took some of the cubes apart, which actually added character to the building in the end