Chinese rooftop 'birdcage' to be knocked down

BEIJING (AFP) - A giant steel and mesh "birdcage" that caps the uppermost level of a building in China has been ordered dismantled, state media reported, in the latest rooftop architectural oddity in the country.

The structure wraps around the fourth storey of the building in the southern city of Guangzhou, complete with a giant hook coming out of the top, and with what appears to be a rock cliff to one side.

Local officials in Bantang district ordered it demolished, the Nanfang Daily newspaper reported, adding the building was only authorised to be three levels high and neighbours had expressed concerns about falling stones.

The paper quoted the owner of a teahouse on the ground floor saying that he had only rented his premises for a month and the "birdcage" structure was his landlord's work.

Bird-keeping is a popular hobby in China, particularly among older generations.

The authorities' decision came after a series of rooftop structures provoked reactions from humour to anger in China, among them a temple on top of a 21-storey apartment block elsewhere in Guangdong province.

A rock villa on top of a 26-storey apartment tower in Beijing sparked an outcry over the abuse of privilege and contempt for public safety by the country's rich, and authorities ruled houses on top of a shopping mall in Hunan could not be sold.

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