A university professor in Beijing, Zhang Lin, has built a mountain villa on the roof of a 26-story apartment block that has gained the title of “Beijing's most outrageous illegal structure". Apparently built without permission, the villa that looks like something built into a seaside cliff, was created using fake rocks but real trees and grass. Locals say the unusual high-rise structure been slowly taking shape for the past six years, but is only now receiving attention after images of the complex was published on Chinese media. The local urban management officials have now told the owner the structure is illegal and issued him with an ultimatum to prove it was built with proper government permission or dismantle it within 15 days.
Residents of the high-end Park View apartment block in the city's Haidan district have complained that the two-storey house could cause structural damage to the building and have been regularly disturbed by noise from heavy machinery on the roof.
"A lot of people have moved out from the top floors. They were afraid. They sold their apartments and got out," said Zhang Li, who lives in an apartment on the 25th floor -- one floor below the construction.
"It's very noisy and they are always bringing rocks and things up the elevator," she said. "It's definitely not safe. With all those boulders up there, what would happen if there was an earthquake?"
Other residents claimed the retreat had caused cracks in their walls which leak when it rains.
The villa's owner has been identified as the head of a traditional Chinese medicine business and former member of the district's political advisory body who resides on the building's 26th floor. Contacted by Beijing Times newspaper, the man said he would comply with the district's orders, but he belittled attempts to call the structure a villa, calling it "just an ornamental garden".
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