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Man Builds Stone Castle Atop a Skyscraper, Seems Surprised He's Asked to Take It Down

Offbeat  (tags: odd, off-beat, world, crime, interesting, humans, environment, government, pictures, safety, unusual )

- 1738 days ago -
Zhang Biqing's 8,600-square-foot monstrosity is standing on borrowed time.

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JL A (281)
Friday August 16, 2013, 12:18 pm

Man Builds Stone Castle Atop a Skyscraper, Seems Surprised He’s Asked to Take It Down

Zhang Biqing’s 8,600-square-foot monstrosity is standing on borrowed time.
August 13, 2013
Salvatore Cardoni

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Salvatore Cardoni
Sal holds a Political Science degree from the George Washington University. He's written about all things environment since 2007.

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china skyscraper on building
A fake mountain and trees seen atop the upscale residential building in Beijing. (Photo: Simon Song)

I’m all for planting more trees in smog-choked cities or for cutting urban sprawl off at the knees by encouraging designers to build up rather than out, but this?

This is bonkers—to say nothing of being illegal and possibly deadly.

Chinese officials have given a well-connected, eccentric rich guy 15 days to tear down a sprawling, two-story “mountain villa” he spent six years unlawfully constructing atop a 26-story residential building in Beijing.

How to Make a 1,000-Foot Skyscraper Disappear Into Thick Air

Since 2007, neighbors have fruitlessly pleaded with local cops to remove the $2.4 million, 8,600-square-foot, tree-covered rock house. Some complained that the gaudy crib’s weight had caused cracks in their apartment walls, allowing rainwater to seep in during storms. Others wondered what would happen to the structure’s boulders if there were an earthquake? (How do you scream “look out below!” in Mandarin?)

“A lot of people have moved out from the top floors. They were afraid. They sold their apartments and got out,” said Zhang Li, to CNN. He lives in an apartment on the 25th floor, one floor below the construction.

But then Chinese social media secured photos of the villa last week. This kickstarted a melange of negative press coverage, resulting in Monday’s demolition order by the government.

I’d like to think that the man behind this fortress madness, Zhang Biqing, simply let his ambition outrun his good sense. But then again, we are talking about a Charles Foster Kane wannabe who put thousands of neighbors at risk just to scratch his Xanadu itch, so I’m guessing he probably wasn’t very considerate to begin with.

Check back in half a month’s time to see if local administrators—from time to time, government officials in China have been known to dabble in corruption—actually make Biqing remove his rarified air stone palace. After all, as he says—wink, wink—it’s only a small “ornamental garden."

. (0)
Friday August 16, 2013, 12:32 pm
Where the hell were the Chinese while it was building built?

Past Member (0)
Friday August 16, 2013, 1:00 pm
Good post. Thanks.

JL A (281)
Friday August 16, 2013, 1:26 pm
You are welcome Bethany.

cynthia l (207)
Friday August 16, 2013, 2:26 pm
hmm he started this in 2007 and nobody did anything until now. Who's crazier
other than putting people at risk it is fabulous

JL A (281)
Friday August 16, 2013, 2:30 pm
You cannot currently send a star to Cynthia because you have done so within the last day.

Donna G (42)
Friday August 16, 2013, 2:52 pm
I think it looks kind of nice sitting atop that building; but, if it was illegal to build it in 2007, why wasn't something done to stop it before so much time or materials was invested in it? What a waste.

Sheryl G (363)
Friday August 16, 2013, 3:23 pm
Perhaps they waited so they could all make some money off of selling him the building material and the workers got wages. A few carefully paid off officials to look the other way gave him the ability to keep going. If I know of anything about the Chinese they don't like to be made to look foolish, so when this became more widespread I'm sure some higher ups said, get it torn down. We might never know who else might of lost their jobs in this or be sent to the nearest We Make Cheap Goods Here For Walmart Prison.

Kit B (276)
Friday August 16, 2013, 4:04 pm

Why did they wait so long to stop this? The upper floors could have collapsed and caused grave harm or death to other residents. If the guy is so rich let him buy a hill and build his dream palace.

Thank you, J L - file this with wacky but so rich.

JL A (281)
Friday August 16, 2013, 4:12 pm
I like that label Kit. You are welcome. You cannot currently send a star to Dandelion or Kit because you have done so within the last day.

Adena Z (19)
Friday August 16, 2013, 4:33 pm
@ Allen Yorkowitz, all Chinese were out eating donuts & coffee taking lots of pictures ;-P

Sheila D (194)
Friday August 16, 2013, 5:01 pm
Head shaking...Personally, I think it's ugly and I wouldn't want to live in that building for fear it would collapse - on me. Thank you.

JL A (281)
Friday August 16, 2013, 5:02 pm
You are welcome GGma. You cannot currently send a star to GGma Sheila because you have done so within the last day.

Terry V (30)
Friday August 16, 2013, 5:09 pm
What a WASTE.................

JL A (281)
Friday August 16, 2013, 5:29 pm
You cannot currently send a star to Terry because you have done so within the last day.

DaleLovesOttawa O (198)
Friday August 16, 2013, 8:08 pm
To those wanting to build their own personal castles in order to get away from it all...made sure that you include your very own moat.

Someone with a lot of time on his hands? In an earthquake zone that may be problematical...surprised that he got so far without someone in charge saying...whattttt, where's the building permit?

Connie O (44)
Saturday August 17, 2013, 9:45 am
That's bizarre.
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