Eccentric Beijing resident Zhang Biqing has just spent the last six years constructing this $2.4 million faux-mountaintop villa on top a 26-story hi-rise — just in time for the Chinese authorities to finally declare it illegal. The 10,000 square foot complex is now slated for demolition.
Residents have been complaining about the penthouse mansion for years; at least two neighbours have moved out because of the incessant construction work, while others have complained about damage to pipes and walls in their units.
The rocks, which are said to be imitation shells, have trees and bushes growing among them. The compound, which is found in Beijing's high-end Haidan district, also contains winding walkways, grass, and garden trellises. The structure essentially adds an additional 2-stories to the building.
Zhang Biqing, a doctor of traditional medicine and the owner of a successful chain of acupuncture clinics, has 15 days to demolish the 15 million yuan ($2.4 million) structure or provide proof that it's safe and structurally sound. Failure to comply will result in forcible demolition.
And it sounds like Zhang is quite the character — and not in a good way. The South China Morning Post reports:
When confronted earlier by reporters from local newspaper Beijing Morning News, Zhang, who sometimes identified himself as a professor, had said, “Since I dare to live here, I am not worried about complaints.
“Famous people come to my place and sing. How can you stop them?” the newspaper quoted him as saying about the noise at night.
Some neighbours who had complained over the years suffered harrassment and threats from the owner, Zhang Biqing, local newspapers have reported. One 77-year-old man was beaten up several times by Zhang and eventually forced to move, it was reported. Police didn't seem to have intervened...
...Others were angry at the owner with one Internet user saying, “How can this guy be a professor? He gained his happiness by torturing others.” Many also expressed anger at the failure of Chengguan officials, known for their thuggish, often brutal behaviour throughout the country while dealing with unlicensed street vendors, in enforcing the law on the rich and powerful.
[South China Morning Post; images imaginechina, Mark Ralston, Simon Song]