Beijing Doctor Builds Mountainous Penthouse Retreat; Authorities Order Him to Demolish It

by , 08/18/13
filed under: Architecture, Gallery

Zhang Biqing, Beijing apartment building, China building regulations, chengguan, building disputes beijing, artificial villa beijing, doctor beijing fake mountain villa, illegal building in china, two-story rooftop villa

On Monday officials from Beijing’s Urban Administrative and Law Enforcement Bureau gave Beijing resident Zhang Biqing 15 days to demolish the mountainous two-story villa he built on the rooftop of an entire apartment block. Local media sources have reported that Zang, a doctor of Chinese medicine and owner of a large chain of acupuncture clinics, spent six years and $130,000 constructing the villa as an extension of his penthouse flat. The bizarre structure is made of real grass and tress as well as fake rocks, and it covers the entire 1000-square-meter roof of a 26-story apartment building located in Beijing’s Haidian district. According to a report from the Bejing Morning Post building residents have complained about damage to their pipes and walls due to the rooftop construction, and at least two owners have moved out of the building after disputes with Zang.

Zang was ordered to take down his artificial mountain villa due to Chinese regulations and laws associated with the structure and layout of buildings. These laws explicitly state that, regardless of ownership, one cannot build additional roof-top structures without going through the necessary legal procedures and subsequent approval processes. Since Zang failed to seek out this approval, his villa is not only illegal but might also be unsafe. In a ChinaDaily article, Liu, an expert from the China Academy of Building Research said that an initial evaluation of the building’s design needs to be conducted prior to beginning construction. He went on to explain, “without such a risk evaluation, the construction can be very dangerous to the whole building.”

While there are many people in Beijing who move forward with building plans without receiving official government approval, Zang’s dispute came to a head because of the many disgruntled building residents affected by the construction. According to the South China Morning Post neighbors have complained repeatedly to the building management company, local urban management officials and even the police. They’ve also reported that some of the neighbors issuing complaints have endured years of harassment and threats from Zang – one 77-year-old man was forced to move out after being beaten up by Zang several times.

Via South China Morning Post

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  1. El Presario November 19, 2013 at 1:42 pm

    Once the chinese people from china get rich they will do nonsense things.

  2. scicdb3 August 17, 2013 at 10:56 am

    I cannot for the life of me imagine how any building could or would have been designed to support that weight of material, if it is genuine rock and such, or how any engineer could approve such a construction given its haphazard and non-engineered nature, especially atop a 26 storey structure.
    Assuming it is 50% hollow, my guess is that it would be akin to adding about 4 storeys of conventional reinforced concrete to the top of a 26 storey building.
    The questions it raise are whether the foundations and lower structure were designed for a 30 storey stucture and for the additional seismic and wind-loads that it will add, plus the absorbed rain load and water-retention and penetration issues.
    Fibreglass \”rocke\” might work, but genuine stone is madness.
    Take it down NOW.

  3. betsy skeptic August 15, 2013 at 3:27 pm

    Barring aesthetic issues, something like this could cause a building to collapse on the folks inside – even in the US. Fun concept. Terrible execution.

  4. Robert Sultani August 14, 2013 at 8:57 am

    Its so ugly i would insist myself to tear that down… Plus with China’s Building Safety Record I certainly would not allow anything top heavy on one of their buildings

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