After making headlines around the world, an opulent, illegally built rooftop villa, complete with rocky formations and lush greenery, sitting atop a Beijing high-rise apartment, will be demolished. The Chinese owner of the home, identified as a professor with the last name Zhang, confirmed to the BBC that he will comply with an official order to demolish his home.
The owner and designer of the rooftop lair, Zhang Biqing, spent six years building his home on top of the 26-story apartment building without obtaining any legal construction permits. As a result, local building officials eventually caught on to the ornate structure, the multi-year construction of which had bothered neighbors so much, they officially filed for its demolition.
However, as the saga of one rooftop villa comes to an end, another begins. A rooftop house in the city of Suzhou, located in the central coast province of Jiangsu, was discovered, belonging to a local official. Built with more traditionally Chinese design aesthetics, the structure includes a garden and two separate enclosed rooms above the 18th floor of an apartment building. The space is estimated to be about 150 square meters, considerably smaller than the one in Beijing, and thus probably considerably less dangerous to have on the roof.
Though the Suzhou house is significantly more discreet and refined than the faux mountain-villa-mansion, the structure is probably just as illegal. Reporters from state-run Xinhua News Agency and local urban management officials went to the Suzhou apartment complex and attempted to meet the owner of the home, who is apparently also affiliated with the government, but no one answered the door.
If allegations by neighbors, who insist appropriate permits were not obtained, are true, the rooftop garden courtyard -- which also took six years to build -- will likely also be demolished.