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UER Forum > UE Encyclopedia > Nail House (Viewed 4114 times)
Entry: Nail House
originally posted by Steed

[last edit 3/26/2017 11:10 AM by Steed - edited 3 times]

A nail house is any condemned building where the tenants are resisting eviction. The original Chinese term (钉子户) was coined by developers, as a metaphor for nails that are stuck and refuse to be pounded down. Sometimes the tenants seek a big government payoff, but in one example in Changsha, a nail house was allowed to remain and the project, a shopping mall, was redesigned to leave space for it.

The most famous nail house, pictured below, in Chongqing, engaged in a tense standoff with developers for two years, during which time their power and water were cut and a ten-meter-deep trench was dug around their property. The owner, a martial arts champion, built a makeshift ladder out of nunchaku and challenged anyone foolish enough to attempt to climb it.


Nail houses are very common in China as well as South Korea (where they are known as albakgi 알박기) where urban renewal is a high priority. They can often be found within condemned neighbourhoods with numerous abandoned homes that are fair game for the urban explorer. However, it is best not to get too close to any homes that show signs of inhabitation, as the tenants may mistake you for a hired goon and be prepared to defend their territory.
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