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Guy Builds a Forest on a Guangzhou Apartment Building to Hide Illegal Floors

Posted: 04/14/2014 1:12 pm

roof garden hidden building guangzhou penthouse

In this environmentally-friendly age we’re often urged to consider the needs of Mother Nature before our own comforts; however, one Guangzhou resident had an ulterior motive to “thinking green” when he used foliage and trees to allegedly hide two illegally-built floors atop his penthouse apartment.

A rooftop villa on Guangzhou Linhe East Road in the Haitangge neighborhood is suspected of trying to camouflage its illegal structures by completely covering them with green paint, vines and shrubbery.

Chengguan that visited the exterior of the structure said the additional floors may cause cracking of the structure below.

The reporting of illegal rooftop structures in China have shown a pent-up desire for residential expansion. Twelve illegal rooftop buildings have been reported in Guiyang, Guizhou province of which four can be seen here and includes one that looks like a castle.

Shenzhen has had its own case of penthouse growing pains when local media reported that a Nanshan District penthouse apartment had constructed a temple on its roof and was being investigated by city authorities.

The most widely reported case would be the illegal rooftop terrace in Beijing that was recently demolished. Extensively decorated with trees, shrubbery and fake rock over 800 square meters, owner Zhang Biqing was initially given the order to dismantle it within 15 days, but required four months before demolition was complete.

Zhang said he became ill after his “garden” was exposed and remains in poor health. Stating he often has nightmares, Zhang said,

“My family members prevent me from reading news and don’t even allow me to watch TV. I am not coming back to Beijing in the near future because I am worried that I couldn’t bear to see that my garden is gone.”

With such an adverse effect upon inspired rooftop enthusiasts, it appears there is a literal ceiling that caps all dreamers from reaching out to the stars, one floor at a time. Hopefully these cases do not signify a real estate grab that would prematurely end Shenzhen’s plans for rooftop gardening.


Photos: 163


Shenzhen temple the latest elaborate and controversial rooftop structure

Posted: 08/21/2013 4:29 pm

A rooftop temple on top of Meijia Square housing complex in Shenzhen’s Nanshan District has become the latest in a series of controversial rooftop structures in China.

The report comes after a privately owned Beijing rooftop villa made from artificial rocks came to public attention last week. Authorities have since given the Beijing owner 15 days to demolish it, or face punishment. Local residents said they feared it might have caused the entire 26-storey apartment block to collapse in on itself.

Carl Ji, a Shenzhen resident, told The Nanfang today: “This kind of construction work is illegal. Shenzhen’s government should demolish it as soon as possible to set an example. Who is this guy that he thinks he can build his own temple on a public area? He’s just interested in his own private interests. It is arrogant.”

The 21st storey apartment on which the Shenzhen temple has been built is said to be worth 15 million yuan (US$2.5 million). The building’s tenants are all “either high-ranking officials or very rich people,” according to the report by Yangcheng Evening News today.

“The Meijia Square housing complex is an expensive property where every square metre is valued at about 30,000 yuan (HK$38,000),” the South China Morning Post also said in a follow-up report earlier today.

The Post added: “Neighbours were unsure who the owner of the property was, but said that the temple was often occupied and used for traditional Chinese religious practices… neighbours did say that golden sheets of joss paper… occasionally floated down from the temple’s perch.”

The temple, suspected to be an illegal structure, first came to public attention Monday after Shenzhen Special Zone Daily seized on the controversial local oddity in the wake of the Beijing story.

Particular concerns with the Shenzhen temple, aside from structural issues, are regarding restricted access to the rooftop, which is a public area designated as an emergency escape route — though how residents are supposed to “escape” from a rooftop in the case of a fire, for example, is perhaps a question in itself.

“A police spokesperson said the department would demolish the structure if illegal construction was confirmed, and measures such as the freezing of property rights would be taken if the owner opposed the demolition,” Shenzhen Daily reported earlier this week.

A fingerprint scanner built into the roof’s gate is apparently intended to keep away unwanted visitors.

The case is still under investigation by local authorities.

Photo credit: Shenzhen News

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