In Beijing, Zhang Biqing built what This is Colossal calls “a sprawling mountain villa” on top of his penthouse apartment — as in, he built the villa on top of the building, and in between the building and the villa he built a mountain.
Zhang, local newspapers have reported, is a practitioner of Chinese medicine. But if that sounds quaint and you’re imagining that this rooftop-garden-on-crack is some sort of peaceful retreat, that’s not quite what’s going on.
“Practicing Chinese medicine” in Beijing these days actually means owning a national and lucrative chain of acupuncture clinics. And when you build a mountain on your penthouse apartment, you don’t use it look out over the smog-covered city and breathe deeply. You use it to throw massive parties. Or, at least according to his upset neighbors, that’s what Zhang’s been doing.
The neighbors have complained about the noise, the threat to the building’s structural integrity, and the leaks — the mountain might be fake, but the trees and grass and (we’re just guessing here) charming streams and pools are real. According to Colossal, the local government finally listened to the complaints and has given Zhang 15 days to get rid of the mountain. Hey, here’s some advice: “The man who removes a mountain begins by carrying away small stones.”
Get Grist in your inbox