Around Asia: Neighbors tell man to dismantle high-rise rock grotto

At first look, it seems as if nature is taking over one high-rise building in Beijing, when in fact the chunk of rocks sitting atop the structure form one man’s humble abode.

With surging land prices in China, Zhang Biqing apparently decided to make use of horizontal space on top of the 26-storey apartment building and built his mountain retreat from the rooftdeck up.

The 800-square meter “penthouse” is made to look like a rocky mountain peak, complete with boulders – fake ones – as well as real trees and bushes.

Construction of the mountain villa has been slowly taking over the rooftop since 2007.

Not too amused that they have “rocks” virtually hanging over their heads, residents complained that the villa has made the building unsafe.

Some people living from the top floors have sold their apartments and moved out, Chinese media said.

“It’s very noisy and they are always bringing rocks and things up the elevator,” Zhang’s neighbor said. “It’s definitely not safe. With all those boulders up there, what would happen if there was an earthquake?”

Urban management officials in Haidian district said the owner had not obtained government approval for the villa and ordered a compulsory demolition within 15 days of the notice, state-run China Daily reports.

Zhang, a doctor of traditional Chinese medicine who owns a chain of acupuncture clinics, said he had not built a permanent concrete attachment to the existing building.

The mountain was made of light materials including plastic and resin, he told BBC World Service radio (click here to see pictures of the rock house).

by Maesie Bertumen

Image: dcmaster/Flickr

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