In Guangzhou, China, there is an unusual attraction known as ‘Number 28 on Yongxing Jie.’ This remarkable site consists of an eight-storey apartment building encircled by a bustling overpass.
The story of ‘Number 28 on Yongxing Jie’ dates back to 2008 when several buildings in Guangzhou’s Haizhu District were slated for demolition to make way for a new road. While most residents agreed to sell their homes and relocate, three inhabitants of a now-famous yellow apartment building took a firm stance, refusing to abandon their homes unless their demands were met.
Faced with this resistance, developers chose to abandon negotiations and instead constructed an overpass around the building. Today, this ‘encircled’ building stands as Guangzhou’s most resilient holdout against infrastructure developers.
In 2015, ‘Number 28 on Yongxing Jie’ gained international attention when photographs of the newly-inaugurated Zhoutouzui Tunnel captured the urban anomaly. People became more fascinated by the ‘nail house’ isolated in the midst of the overpass than the state-of-the-art tunnel itself, turning the remaining inhabitants’ unwavering resolve into a news sensation.
According to a 2017 article from That’s Mags, the sole residents of the eight-storey apartment building were Guo Zhiming and his brother. Despite having minimal chances of receiving compensation from developers after the encircling overpass was built, the brothers refused to vacate their 30-square-meter home.
At the time, their apartment still had access to water and electricity, and they could conveniently reach bus stations and supermarkets on foot.
“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 told the Southern Metropolis Daily.
‘Number 28 on Yongxing Jie’ is just one of the many ‘nail houses’ featured on Oddity Central over the years. This term, ‘dingzihu’ or ‘nail house,’ originated in China to describe homes that defiantly stood amidst demolished areas, with owners resisting state-ordered evictions.
Oddity Central has previously covered another Chinese house isolated in the middle of a busy road, and recently, the famous Zammit family house in Sidney, Australia.