Workers dismantle a rocky style villa on the roof of a residential building, in Haidian District of Beijing, capital of China, Aug. 15, 2013. The bizarre rooftop villa, building illegally atop a 26-story apartment block in downtown Beijing, began to be dismantled Thursday. (Xinhua/Luo Xiaoguang)
BEIJING, Aug. 15 (Xinhua) -- An apartment owner in Beijing started dismantling an elaborate, but illegal, garden villa on top of a 26-storey building in downtown Beijing on Thursday.
Local urban management officers provided technical guidance at the site to ensure the building structure remained sound and to prevent water and electricity leakage, a municipal urban management bureau official told Xinhua.
The officers ordered workers to erect a protective fence around the building to prevent falling objects hitting passersby and vehicles.
This came only one day after the villa's builder, Zhang Biqing, owner of the 340-square-meter duplex penthouse on the top floors of the building, pledged to dismantle the 800-square-meter illegal structure when informed of risks to the public by police and urban management authorities.
On Monday, the urban management bureau of Haidian District posted a notice on the door of the apartment, urging the builder to demolish the illegal construction within 15 days, otherwise, the urban management authorities would dismantle it themselves.
The man-made garden came into the spotlight on Monday after photos of the building with a mound of artificial rocks, greenery and a swimming pool on the roof, were feverishly shared and forwarded online.
Neighbors have long complained that the construction, which was started in 2007, has caused gas and water leaks that affected several apartments on lower floors. They are also concerned about safety hazards brought on by the construction.
Local newspapers have identified Zhang as a wealthy Chinese medicine practitioner known for his therapies for treating difficult illnesses, such as cervical spondylosis.