John Metcalfe was CityLab’s Bay Area bureau chief, covering climate change and the science of cities.
Sometimes the country life is closer than you think.
Want to enjoy the lifestyle of a Swiss alpinist in a dense Asian city? Then try buttonholing the owners of this Western-style chalet, which squats on top of a commercial building in Taichung, Taiwan.
The two-story wooden structure is hidden under a secondary roof and appears hoisted five stories above the street, although a translation of this TVBS News story suggests it might be seven. Shanghaiist lays out the situation:
Incredibly, the building’s landlord says that her father built the cabin some 20 years ago and that she never rents it out. It only sees occasional use by family members during holiday.
Residents have expressed concern about the structure’s safety. Taichung’s city government has responded that it will need to first review the owner’s license in order to determine the legality of the cabin.
Disappointingly, news reports indicate there is functioning electricity and air-conditioning, meaning residents aren’t boiling water for baths, making iron-skillet cornbread over a wood fire, and other rustic activities suitable for a sky-rise homestead.