Connect to share and comment

News you wish you didn't know.

Bizarre Beijing mountain villa given demolition orders

The luxury retreat on top of a 26-story apartment building is covered with fake rocks, trees and bushes.
Beijing mountain apartmentEnlarge
The luxury rooftop apartment is covered by fake rocks, trees and bushes. It faces demolition in 15 days. (AFP/Getty Images)

It’s been dubbed “the most outrageous illegal structure” and now the owner of the bizarre mountain retreat on top of a high-rise apartment building in Beijing has been given 15 days to tear it down.

Neighbors have been complaining for years that the 800-square-meter villa was damaging their building’s structural integrity and piping system.

But authorities only started listening after photos of the rooftop structure went viral on Chinese websites and were then splashed across the front pages of local newspapers.

The owner of the two-storey apartment, which is covered with fake rocks, trees and bushes, has been identified as Zhang Biqing, the founder of a national chain of acupuncture clinics.

The story has struck a chord with ordinary Chinese citizens fed up with the rich and powerful flouting the law – and getting away with it.

At least two neighbors have moved out of the 26-story building because of the construction work, which is said to have begun in 2007.

Zhang has been given 15 days to demolish the apartment or provide an explanation to the government.