Millionaire’s Rocky Dream Makes Neighbors Angry
Posted on August 23, 2013
For Beijing millionaire Professor Zhang, owning a penthouse in a residential apartment building was not enough. Wanting to move up, he set his fantasies sky-high.
Professor Zhang used blocks of concrete, rocks, sculptures, and a little landscaping to build his “country villa,” and in only six years. Today, the whole structure smothers the entire rooftop of the 26-storey apartment building.
But such a grand scale has come at a cost. In its entirety, the villa looks as if an island sits gloriously on top of a building crammed with middle-class residents who can only grumble about the nuisance, much less the danger, that the structure has brought to the neighborhood.
The apartment’s residents complain that the extra weight has compromised the structural integrity of the building, causing cracks and water leaks in some parts.
When Beijing Morning News interviewed Professor Zhang, he asserted that he is not at all worried about complaints hurled against him, even dismissing the reported noise coming from his villa. “Famous people come to my place and sing,” he said. “How can you stop them?”
For wealthy eccentrics who devote their whole lives and money to an illusion, this rocky edifice on top of a residential building simply says it all. But for those down below, Professor Zhang’s fantasy has become a burden, literally and figuratively.