Feng shui in buildings

by Steve Van Derodar

A Feng Shui building in Singapore

Many of us think that for developers to build great buildings, there must be a meticulous planning process in the design, materials, airflow, and buildings’ energy. You may not know, but some buildings use the principle of feng shui to benefit their residents and the whole prospect of bringing luck to the development aside from the functionality of its spaces.

The truth is many architects from around the world have made major design decisions based on feng shui. Almost every known developer believes that it must carry designs that are energy-efficient with commanding stature evoking grandeur and modernism for their buildings to be exceptional.

Feng shui, also known as Chinese geomancy, is a pseudoscientific traditional practice originating from ancient China, claiming to use energy forces to harmonize individuals with their surrounding environment. The term feng shui literally translates as “wind-water” in English. The practice aims to promote harmony and happiness through design. The idea is to optimize buildings in all aspects to bring about these feelings. This includes optimizing the internal and external spaces, as well as garden spaces.

Feng shui may be an old belief, but many of us agree that it’s all about creating harmony by finding ways to connect human-made things with nature through design using the five natural elements: metal, water, wood, fire, and earth. These elements can be found in the building design, which observes feng shui principles.

“… many of us agree that it’s all about creating harmony by finding ways to connect human-made things with nature through design using the five natural elements: metal, water, wood, fire, and earth. These elements can be found in the building design, which observes feng shui principles.”

The best way to understand feng shui, according to an Insider.com article, is to start with a living room. And each element promotes something different. Water can represent living flexibly, and you can include it in your home using the color black or by introducing a wavy pattern. Metal is represented by objects made of, well, metal, as well as the color white. You’d add fire elements if you want to ignite passion: triangular shapes and red help bring in a little heat. The wood element can encourage personal growth, and you can incorporate that with green in plants. Finally, earth elements provide stability, and you can incorporate it by adding heavy objects or something like a square rug. It’s solid but can be refined. Good for creating stronger focus and disrupting unharmonious forces.

Feng shui works in all living spaces: living rooms, bedrooms, offices, etc. As for buildings, you would learn great examples that famous buildings do use Feng shui such as the Bank of China and HSBC buildings in Hong Kong, the Louvre in Paris, France, the Opera House in Sydney, Australia, and the Apple Store in Regent’s Park in London, UK. As for residential buildings, there are many to mention.

In the Philippines, some of the best developments are known to have received Feng shui treatments in its overall planning. As an investor, It might be a great idea to suggest checking out condominium buildings on how the building stands as far as feng shui is concerned, whether your intention is for end-use or investment.

“It might be a great idea to suggest checking out condominium buildings on how the building stands as far as feng shui is concerned, whether your intention is for end-use or investment.”

In my earlier years in real estate, I was astounded to learn that the building I was familiarizing with had Feng shui experts in the development team. I began to think that it is common for some developers to use Feng shui. It is noticeable in many building plan details that Feng shui experts are being hired for certain buildings. Precisely, it intends to attract positivity by reinforcing harmony and maximizing energy forces to the residents’ advantage. It is up to you to believe, but many have proven its effect to be true. It could also be essential to have feng shui experts in buildings as significant international buyers believe in feng shui.

Additionally, it is common knowledge that building designs use the elements to represent the five elements in feng shui. Water features in many buildings such as water fountains, swimming pools, and koi ponds are part of the development’s exclusive amenities and features. Garden spaces obviously provide an outlet for energies to come in and out of the building.

Insider.com reports that feng shui master and Trump consultant in the ’90s Pun-Yin and her father, Tin-Sun were responsible for suggesting adding the now-famous Columbus Circle globe within the Trump Tower, which literally disrupts the flow of energy as people stop and gather around. Its purpose is to stop the roundabout from sucking in all the potential wealth and opportunities. For example, people who may have otherwise just kept walking are stopped in their tracks, potentially bringing in more business and, therefore, more wealth. The globe was installed in 1996 by Donald Trump at the suggestion of the two feng shui masters. The move signaled to the architecture community that a new market emerged in the US for feng shui in architectural design.

The article added, Feng shui is used by architects in different places around the world for different reasons. But whether the architect has a casual interest in it, is culturally connected to it, or simply knows it helps sell newly developed buildings, it’s being used everywhere.

“There is simply nothing wrong with believing in Feng shui. One thing is sure, and it adds value in the design of the buildings improving salability due to the advantageous character of the building and the functional spaces it affords in a residential community it serves.”

It is undoubtedly a booming trend to consult for Feng shui services in any developments considering the Chinese five-element cycle for Water, Wood, Fire, Earth, and Metal as it yields from one to the other now and then. It means that builders, architects, interior designers integrate their designs and plans with their concept of feng shui.

There is simply nothing wrong with believing in Feng shui. One thing is sure, and it adds value in the design of the buildings improving salability due to the advantageous character of the building and the functional spaces it affords in a residential community it serves.

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(Stevenson’s experience in Philippine Real Estate spans more than 15 years. He has been involved in horizontal, vertical, vacation, and commercial properties. He has worked as an International Property Specialist to markets in Asia, Europe, and North America with Ayala Land, Federal Land, and Century Properties. Through PhilHouseHunters, he offers real estate investment opportunities, marketing, and consultancy with a key focus on Metro Manila and Mega Cebu areas. Visit www.philhousehunters.com. Email at derodarsales@gmail.com.)

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