Man ordered to remove fake mountain villa
on top of Chinese tower



News: a Chinese businessman who built a house covered by an artificial mountain on top of a 26-storey apartment block in Beijing has been told to remove it or face having it demolished.

Local media sources including South China Morning Post have reported that the man spent six years creating the structure using fake rocks but real trees and grass.

The artificial landscape covers the entire 1000-square-metre roof of the tower, but local urban management officials have 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.

The villa's owner is reported to be a doctor of traditional Chinese medicine, who is quoted as saying: “Since I dare to live here, I am not worried about complaints." If the structure is not removed or its legality is not proven it could be forcibly demolished.

Last year, a five-storey house in the middle of a Chinese motorway was eventually demolished, while work recently began on a hotel built into the face of a water-filled quarry near Shanghai.

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Photography is by Xinhua/ChinaDaily.

  • T,.T

    Have a feeling architects like MVRDV might do it actually…

    • Kay

      I think MAD are looking to this for inspiration.

  • Tek4

    It looks like a giant wart.

  • Greenish

    If it took the authorities SIX YEARS to get round to telling him to get off the roof, I feel like he ought to be entitled to stay there!

    • T,.T

      “Been six years, where’s my HOLLYWOOD sign.”

    • Aaron

      It took six years for people to mount enough pressure for the authorities to force him to remove it. He is rich and well connected, which is all that matters in China.

      • Saus

        “Mount” enough pressure…unintentional pun ;-)

  • Dan

    Looks like MVRDV designed it! HAHA!

  • Jonathan

    Best design I’ve seen here.

  • txt

    This is the kind of bottom up ingenuity we should cherish and celebrate. I say we petition to keep the structure and get a photographer in there to document the awesome project.

    The Chinese have been making artificial mountains for their landscapes for hundreds of years, so I’m sure this was not inspired by MVRDV, but it’s locally grown!

  • antonius

    Brilliant! The only way to approach the overkill in design. It’s not about how it looks. It is pure art. Love it!

  • pipo

    It is just another example of China’s rich and well-connected peoples’ disregard for the law and society in general. How funny would you find it if luxury cars were driving around your neighbourhood without license plates breaking all kinds of traffic rules?

  • R23

    It looks kind of cool, insane and funny, but I’m sure if you were his downstairs neighbour it wouldn’t be. This arrogant maniac should remove his crap and fix all the damages.

  • Marcos Sucra

    If Mohammed will not go to the mountain…

  • Aaron

    The building will be less for its removal. I say throw the owner in jail for corruption (see media coverage elsewhere for more detailed info on the political context) and turn it into a free childcare centre.

  • Vinduespudser

    This is really crazy. He must have nice view.

  • Form follows fiasco! Go green, no… actually go rocky! :P Joking aside, i’m disappointed and worried about architecture’s fate. For a moment I even forgot architecture. Please don’t jeopardise someone else’s life by your own selfish actions.

  • comentuss
  • Allan

    A one storey home with a pleasant green garden and pond would have satisfied me.

  • Ishmael Mokgadi

    Hey guys, a dinosaur pooped on top of a condominium!

  • Concerned citizen

    Architecturally vacant, aesthetically irrelevant, morally corrupt.

  • Greg

    It wasn’t built over night and should have been stopped in the early stage of the process! It will be interesting to see how long it takes to be removed? Total insanity in many ways.

  • Antony

    This is amazing, that is if you weren’t living below it!

  • Marcio

    Chinese Hundertwasser?!

  • kkkk

    Better engineer than most in China.

  • Raza

    Just a minute people! What I see here is a pioneering spirit in recognising and taking advantage of the potential of a roof top waste land. A lesson to be learnt by formally trained architects is to recognise the human spirit and its aspirations to soar – albeit in what seems as kitsch! Many had thought of Antonio Gaudi’s work as grotesque or the Eiffel Tower as being an eye-sore.

    We are all unfortunately too quick in making judgement. YES I agree there are ‘temporary’ inconveniences to the neighbours below, and that there may be no precedence within China for the authorities to consider while approving/disapproving the built structure etc.

    Should we then shut our minds to other possibilities beyond the designs proposed by boxed in architects or slave driving, money maximising contractors. We have all been very well indoctrinated! Welcome to the matrix!

    • smack

      Claiming they’re only “temporary” inconveniences is wildly unfair. This was built without the consideration of the people below it. As others have stated, it’s a clear flaunting of wealth at the expense of others.

      More to the point, there may well be proper channels to have such a thing approved. You should be ashamed for supporting this, no question.

  • SCAQTony

    The Chinese have taken riche nouveau to a hyperbolic ne plus ultra!

  • Frank

    This guy spent six years on his dream home and I must say, it is decent looking and unique. There are much worse structures in China that needed to be removed than this.

    Especially those troll buildings that were planned, designed and built within ridiculously short periods of time.

  • will

    What ever happened to this guy’s place? Follow up article.

  • Sparkimoto

    This is the Salvation mountain of China! Don’t know what that is? Google it!

  • kim

    This is what a green roof should be. This project could have been done by Francois Roche from R&Sie(n)/Studio BKK. I feel sorry for most people’s comments here. It really shows the horrible state of mind of the architect corporation, unable to cope with vernacular spontaneous architecture. It also shows how petit bourgeois, and judicially obsessed our profession has become.