A MAN with sky-high ambitions for his penthouse spent six years building a CAVE on top of a 26-storey apartment block in Beijing.
Wealthy Chinese businessman Zhang Biqing splurged more than £100,000 on his extraordinary skyline mountain retreat.
GettyZhang Biqing built a rooftop cave on top of his swanky penthouse in Beijing[/caption]
GettyThe construction of the extraordinary sanctuary took a whopping six years[/caption]
AlamyThe medicine mogul said he simply wanted to make the rooftop pipework prettier[/caption]
Rocks, wood and shrubbery crown the top of the otherwise drab building, while foliage spills off the sides adorned with fake outcrops.
Reports claim it even featured a garden area, swimming pool and a small stream.
The almost seaside-like sanctuary was painstakingly built by a construction crew over six years – in the dead of the night.
Frustrated residents were forced to hear hammering and clambering in the early hours for six long years as Zhang dodged the city’s housing regulators who snoop in the daytime.
The professor, who founded a chain of Chinese medicine clinics, originally only pimped out the rooftop of his two-storey penthouse paradise with bamboo and a few plants.
But his plans to make the rooftop pipework look prettier soon spiralled out of control, making mobs of builders a regular sight at the apartment complex.
The tranquil penthouse found itself at the centre of a bizarre legal scandal after residents raised a series of furious complaints.
Those living below the rooftop cave said the six-year renovation had wreaked havoc on the building for over half a decade.
As well as the irritating noise and disturbance, neighbours moaned the construction had left them with leaking cracks in their ceilings.
Others feared the weight of the plush mountain palace had compromised the apartment block’s structural integrity.
One anonymous resident said: “I’m really worried about the safety. It’s so heavy and might damage the foundations of the building.
“We complained to the building management, city management, and people’s congress, but no one responded.”
Some residents said Zhang’s project had damaged internal pipework, while his wayward decorations would tumble off the roof and smash into their cars on the street below.
A man who rents a pad in the apartment building said: “He blocks the good fortune from people who live below him.”
At least two tenants are said to have moved out of the swanky complex because of the relentless work.
Another resident living on the 25th floor complained: “They’ve been renovating for years. They normally do it at night.”
They claimed that they had confronted Zhang, but said the professor was “very arrogant” and “could care less” about their frustrations.
A fourth neighbour added: “Our freight elevator is always full of his materials. It’s so filthy.”
Despite his alleged defiance, authorities eventually caught up with Zhang and ordered him to demolish his beloved cave in 2013.
Local officials claimed they had been trying to contact the former government advisor about the construction for four years.
The medicine mogul was forced to remove the two-storey oasis within 15 days after the district government found he did not secure prior approval.
In China, almost all additional structures on residential buildings are illegal – despite rich residents ignoring the strict rules.
But as soon as they are deemed illegal, the government requires them to swiftly demolish it.
Although he defended his ambitious penthouse cave, Zhang agreed to comply with the orders and tore down the work.
But he slammed attempts to describe the structure as a villa and said it was “just an ornamental garden.”
Much of the rock-like edifice was actually painted materials.
GettyNeighbours complained of the noise and damage to the apartment complex[/caption]
AlamyThe two-storey sanctuary on the city’s skyline was demolished in 2013[/caption]
AlamyOfficials ordered Zhang to tear it down as he did not gain prior approval[/caption]