Beijing Man Builds Mega Villa Atop 26-Story Apartment

By Shannon Liao
Shannon Liao
Shannon Liao
Shannon Liao is a native New Yorker who attended Vassar College and the Bronx High School of Science. She writes business and tech news and is an aspiring novelist.
August 13, 2013 Updated: August 13, 2013

A man is building a two floor villa covered with rocks, flowers and trees atop a 26-story apartment building in Beijing, six years in the works.

The man, Zhang Biqing, the owner of a chain of health care companies, lives on the 26th floor of Building B in Haidan, a suburban district with many universities. He decided to expand to the roof.

Zhang is well-known in China for creating an acupuncture technique that allegedly can cure hundreds of different illnesses, and is often addressed as a “Professor.”

An anonymous resident on the same floor as Zhang told the state-run Beijing Morning Post that he is his apartment’s third owner since the overhead construction began, after the other two quickly moved out.

“Ever since I moved in last year, I’ve heard drilling and hammering noises throughout the day and have waken up to loud music at night—Zhang says his cabaret is right above my roof,” the resident said to the paper.

The resident complained to the building’s property company but continued to hear the noises. “Even though Zhang promised many times to get thicker carpets and soundproof the floor, it’s still not working.”

Another resident on the floor, a female surnamed Yan, told the Post that Zhang began construction in 2007 yet she can still hear drilling sounds today. “I went in his villa once, and the whole rooftop was occupied. Many pipes were broken, which led to leaks in many apartments on the 26th floor. When it rains we have to use pans and bowls to catch the dripping water. Even the wall has started to crack.”

The building’s property company representatives told the Post that they have attempted to contact Zhang multiple times but that he never opened the door. “We know about these problems but nine out of ten times he won’t open the door for us. We can’t do anything if we can’t get in touch with him,” staff said.

During the interview with the Post, Zhang was reportedly on the same basement floor. When told about residents’ complaints, he responded: “Since I live here, I’m not afraid of getting sued. And some famous people want to come here to sing; you have to let them come.” To the Post reporter who asked what he was building, he said, “It’s none of your business.”

Chinese police determined in July that the villa was illegal and said that they would have Zhang submit to questioning, according to the property company staff speaking to the state media China News. The authorities requested documents about the construction, but their request were denied by Zhang, China News said. The authorities then said they plan to dismantle the construction, but no one is sure when that’s going to happen.

Shannon Liao
Shannon Liao
Shannon Liao is a native New Yorker who attended Vassar College and the Bronx High School of Science. She writes business and tech news and is an aspiring novelist.