Houses Built On Roof Of Shopping Mall In China | Brimtime

Saturday, 17 August 2013

Houses Built On Roof Of Shopping Mall In China

The idea of a millionaire Chinese doctor illegally inhabiting a rooftop mountain lair has had the world's media entranced this week. Exotic vines tumble from the rocky landscape of his 26th floor hideaway, which hovers like an aerial Tracy Island above the roaring roads of Beijing's Haidian district.

Recalling the debauched lifestyle of Dr Laing, the penthouse-dwelling master of JG Ballard's High-Rise, stories abound of the Chinese doctor's wild late-night parties in his sky-high retreat – where celebrities allegedly flock to be wined and dined on the bounties made from his lucrative chain of acupuncture clinics. Down below, his neighbours talk in tones of awe and outrage of swimming pools and aviaries hidden among the terraces of the craggy complex – while he insists it is “just an ornamental garden”.
Rocky heights … the aerial lair of the millionaire Chinese doctor in Beijing
The authorities have been kicked into action, after photos of this fantasy folly were splashed across Chinese newspapers on Monday. A notice has now been pinned to the door of Flat 2605, Park View Tower,
demanding the structure be demolished within 15 days: the local building control officials are keen to set an example, after widespread criticism of preferential treatment for the well-connected.

But, while it may be the most audacious example of illegal rooftop construction to reach the press, this aerial extravagance is far from unique in China's burgeoning cities, where every space is seen as a potential opportunity for development.
Villas built on the roof of a shopping mall in Zhuzhou act as offices for the companies employees
Aerial suburbia is a typology that seems particularly popular in Hunan. Another shopping mall developer in the nearby city of Zhuzhou similarly managed to dodge regulations to erect four substantial houses on the roof of its four-storey shopping centre. Each set in its own expansive plot, and surrounded by ornamental planting, the houses were allegedly built as offices for the developer's 160 real estate management employees – and, once again, have escaped demolition as a result. But it is unlikely to be the last such scheme to appear in Zhuzhou: the city was named one of China's 34 national-level “garden cities” in 2008, and since then the government has keenly promoted rooftop terraces. It seems they just weren't counting on them coming with gigantic villas attached.
Read more: theguardian
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