A 32-bedroom, 72,441 square foot new-build palace has come up for sale in Suzhou, about 100km outside of Shanghai, for a cool CN¥1,000,000,000 (around US$150m), probably making it the most expensive residence on mainland China (it’s still a few mill’ short of this place in Hong Kong). And it’s just as extraordinary as you’d expect.
“Taohuayuan” – which translates as “Utopia” – occupies a 1.66-acre landscaped private island on the south shore of Dushu Lake (China’s largest lake), and comes with 32 full bathrooms, an enormous wine cellar, “mist-covered ponds”, a swimming pool and more. The building was started in 2013, and is due for completion at the end of 2018; everything has, as might be expected, been designed to Feng Shui principles, and it’s intended to be a contemporary representation of Suzhou gardens.
The island property – apparently China’s only island garden home – has been built by Xiangshanbang craftsmen – “state artisans” with thousands of years of accumulated knowledge, using truly old-school techniques; the average age of a carpenter on this project is over 60 years, and this may be the last generation of Xiangshanbang. Taohuayuan “can be said to be a contemporary national treasure and will in future become a world cultural heritage property unique to the market,” says marketing bunf.
Selling agent Sotheby’s International Real Estate says that global interest has already been piqued; “there are quite a few overseas clients who have showed their interests in this unique property,” reports agent Juan Zhao Feng.