I saw this in the images and wanted to make sure it didnt go by unoticed. Its a "shackscraper" in an Indian slum.

Jan 12, 08 2:38 pm

That is awesome.

Jan 12, 08 2:41 pm

i would like to see one of those next to one of these

Jan 12, 08 3:08 pm

hmmm- pod houses and slumscrapers, I cant wait for the future!

Jan 12, 08 3:12 pm
Sir Arthur Braagadocio

what's the lateral force analysis on that shack?

Jan 12, 08 3:39 pm

it prob just leans against the next shack, which leans against the next, and so on -

Jan 12, 08 3:42 pm

that's what we call "redundancy"

Jan 12, 08 4:09 pm
Sir Arthur Braagadocio

or emergent complexity. a very non-Newtonian anti-Kantian view of structural analysis, the shack is held up by other shacks. disorganization combined with multiple other disorganizations leads to what appears to be a super phenomenal/exception to the rule structure.

viva shacktown!

Jan 12, 08 5:08 pm


if there were a Master's in debris huts i would go back to school... but I don;t think they teach that in school.

thanks for bringing it up EP, that's one of my favorites in images lately.

Jan 12, 08 10:10 pm

FRO, its called rural studio at Auburn...

And nice post meta, interesting point.

Jan 13, 08 12:04 am

and so on.

Jan 13, 08 2:09 am

as much as i love leb woods' drawings, i've often thought that the resulting architecture would look something like this - and not known how to feel about that.

(i also love this picture and captured it for future use. thanks to whoever posted it.)

Jan 13, 08 8:09 am

Rural Studio i think makes more than debri's huts..

Although they do use debri as material....

I think it is better or certainly more useful to think of this shackscraper and slums at large within the context of emergent complexity.
This provides us an opportunity to think or examine the possibilities of non-hierarchy or at least distributed-hybrid growth.
@ Steven
I think you raise a valid concern that such structures are perhaps not to code..

I am not sure we would want "architects" producing this...Perhaps helping to bring acceptance of such self-emergent growth, bringing it into the fold of planning..

However, as soon as architects build such structures the paradigm i think is ruined.

Jan 13, 08 2:59 pm

hey don't knock the debris hut, part of the problem with the current societal role architects find themselves in is a direct result of NOT respecting the debris hut if you ask me.

food water shelter, right? sometimes it's just about sleeping under a roof. all an architect does is claim to make a better hut outta better debris... so I guess we better get to it.

...and so on.

BTW the link no longer goes to the intended image.

Jan 13, 08 9:56 pm

love it

Jan 14, 08 8:39 am


Jan 15, 08 5:10 pm

im just wondering what it is - maybe its a crude manufacturing facility

Is the author of this photo out there? Expline yourself.

Jan 15, 08 5:14 pm

I like the shackscrapers in Rio they are alot more organic. Actually when you look at them on the hillside from afar you ask yourself who the hell could afford to live there cause the view has to be fantastic. I will have to dig out some photos from one of my trips. I think my mother inlaw thinks I'm nuts standing on her balcony shooting photos
of the shackscrapers on the hillside.

Jan 15, 08 6:46 pm

Hey Guys!! Thanks for all the awesome commentary!

All these hypotheses were rushing through my head when I first saw this building. I thought first of Rudofski's book "architecture without architects" then my mind progressed to Lebbeus, but in a purely visual sense. Upon looking at the details, venting, and so forth I settled on a poor man's version of Jean Pruve's Tropical house, only this is the urban Bombay version.

If you look closely you can see some actually reasonable detailing,

1-The windows are fully louvered, with the same skin material as the facade, which when closed during the monsoons, will provide a clean single plane of corrugated steel, which is of course blocks rain too.
2-the air gap along underside of the roof which allows the hot air that builds up under the sun to escape, and a slight cross-breeze to enter. Still keeping the rain out.
3- The obvious tectonics of the lightweight steel lattice, in which the corrugated sheet might add some lateral support.
4- Without seeing it my self, I'm sure there is a nice set of stair and ladders inside, dodging thorough public and private spaces, since this building houses four families or businesses.

I pass by it every day on the way to work (Studio Mumbai Architects), and finally got the guts to get my camera and tripod out to take a photo. I promise everyone I will go back hopefully this weekend and take some more shots of this place, and some others. I liked this 'shackscraper' as I've called it, not because it is any taller then the rest, but because it stands up by itself. Bombay is covered with these things all over , city blocks full of them, housing millions of people (no exaggeration), but they are usually crammed together so tightly it's hard to tell they get up to 5 stories tall.

You can check out my flickr photostream to see more -->

Cheers! Ben Lepley

Jan 16, 08 12:49 pm

the sad thing is that it looks better that 90% of the shit built in the US

Jan 16, 08 12:56 pm

Here is a direct link-->
Make sure to check out the map link on the bottom right corner to get an aerial view

@Paul - if those things were cheap enough, they might just pop up around Bombay. Jas as long as they get them in place bfore the municipality caches them. Then off to paint the pods in gray striped camo, like the rest of the shacks in the neighborhood.

@namhenderson - there are no codes in Mumbai, no really...

@ snook - Dude, you got to post some. Link them back to this page, or throw them on FLickr. Love photos of those favelas, really amazing, even how the whole ciyt grids around the topography, let alone the 'pixelixzation' of the hillside from shacks.


Jan 16, 08 1:00 pm

@ evil - thanks for re-posting this!

Jan 16, 08 1:02 pm

@ techtonik...

thanks for the explanation...

look forward to more photos...

Jan 16, 08 1:13 pm

I just submitted two more shots of shackscraper, so stay tuned onto 'visual Stimulai' images.


Jan 25, 08 12:12 am


These new photos clearly show context, almost a skyline (if only 1-2 stories) of a slum?

Jan 25, 08 7:59 am

Thought this image via Designboom was an upscaled version of the shackscraper

Mar 18, 08 10:48 pm

wow, absolutely, same materials and proportions. cool.

Mar 18, 08 11:37 pm

also, came across this version of a shackscraper via here

Feb 12, 11 7:54 am

I think Gehry designed that shackscraper back in the late '80s.

Feb 13, 11 12:24 am

mdler, I like your comment. With all the regulations, bodies like the AIA, NCARB, FAIA etc etc, we still manage to create absolute crap in the US.

Feb 13, 11 2:07 am

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