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Man spent six years building ‘secret mountaintop mansion’ on top of skyscraper

Man spent six years building ‘secret mountaintop mansion’ on top of skyscraper

You can only get away with illegal building works for so long - especially on top of a skyscraper.

We all need a project to focus on sometimes, right? It can be helpful to have a long-term aim in mind when you're going about daily life, to give you a sense of purpose.

It's not clear whether that was the motivation behind one man's huge project to turn the top of his residential tower block into a sort of mountain base.

Either way, though, Professor Zhang Lin was a resident of the block in Beijing, China, and reportedly spent some six years secretly working on a fairly unbelievable rooftop complex, full of rock walls and extensive nooks and crannies, before anyone really cottoned on to what he was doing.

In fact, other residents only started to get really suspicious when the huge amount of building work started to cause leaks and cracks further down in the building because of the strain the extra weight was generating.

This weight was so significant that Zhang Lin had to add metal supports to the side of his mountain base, to keep it from any risk of collapse.

The base was roughly the size of two basketball courts in terms of square footage, and was full of greenery and shrubs, along with a swimming pool for relaxing in.

It also had multiple levels and various terraces and seating areas to relax in with a skyline view of Beijing around it - it even had a small vineyard.

Again, as far as anyone's been able to establish, Zhang Lin built this whole thing without anyone realizing it, and by secretly hauling up materials and tools in the building's elevator (which caused suspiciously long waiting times for other people while he loaded and unloaded it).

wenpu wang / Getty
wenpu wang / Getty

Residents started to cotton on over time, and seemingly complained about the noise and structural issues at the top of the building for a few years before anyone intervened.

When the Chinese police were finally made properly aware in the early 2010s, their investigation didn't take long to establish that there was indeed illegal construction on top of the building, and they ordered Zhang Lin to take it down completely within two weeks.

As demanded, a few days later workers started dismantling the base, although the process has apparently dragged on for a few years since it was so complex a structure.

From the sounds of it, though, the days of rooftop mountain base parties were soon over for Zhang Lin and his friends, and there's potentially a lesson to be learnt. You might get away with some exciting illegal construction for a while, but it seems like you're likely to eventually get caught and be forced to go back to square one - perhaps planning permission is worth the work after all.

Featured Image Credit: Science Channel/YouTube