Friday, August 3, 2012

Good Architecture Bad Feng Shui

Sexy Architecture, Bad Feng Shui

Recently, there is an article in the Toronto Star reporting that the Mississauga’s Absolute Towers building project were awarded the prize of Best Tall Buildings in the Americans by the Chicago-based Council on Tall Buildings and Urban Habitat, a non-profit group of architects and engineers.  This is based mostly on the merits of its unique high curves design of the façade of the building; which has a “sexy” appeal; and even compared it with the late Hollywood movie star Marilyn Monroe!

I really have no objection to their taste and judgement of the aesthetic appeals on the buildings itself because they are all well trained architects and engineers. However, since the buildings are supposed to be a habitat for humans, I do not see any detailed explanation of the excellence in the interior layout that justified for the award. Function follows form, anyone? Does it provide a comfortable and auspicious living environment to the occupants? Well, judging from the authentic feng shui perspective, I do not think so!

First of all, a tall building is considered a wood element structure, but with its curving façade, it is also associated with the water element. In feng shui, this means the chi of the building is not “pure”.  Furthermore, because of the round shape of the structure, it means most of the rooms in the building will most likely in irregular shape, which creates one of the common deficiencies in feng shui”: missing corners. This indicates the possibilities of unstable luck for the occupants and they have difficulties in furniture arrangement.

Another important factor for high-rise condominium units is the entrance door of each unit is located inside the building, most of the time in a long and enclosed corridor. Therefore, the overall feng shui of the unit is very much depends on the exposure to the sun and air through the windows or balcony; where the outside chi can enter into the unit. In feng shui, every direction of the ba gua is associated with an element and chi pattern, and it has significant implications on the feng shui of the room.  Since it is really difficult to identify the proper facing direction in a curved façade; this constitutes the same problem of “the chi is not pure” as mentioned above.

Under the Form school of feng shui, people living in a tall building (in this case 50 storeys and 56 storeys tall) while the surrounding buildings are much lower, this indicates that they will have little support from others! As a matter of fact, there are many examples that when a city has erected a tallest building in its region, the economy will start to decline. A good example is Dubai. Ironically as reported in the article, many buyers of this building project are from Dubai!

Anyway, based on the above, in contrast to what one councillor of the city of Mississauga, who boast that the city is "not afraid to try something different and daring";  I will predict that the economy of the city of Mississauga will start to decline after the project is completed.

Of course, if I can able to study in details about the design and layout of the buildings, I am certain that I will find some more feng shui deficiencies in this project. Another concern I have is its effect to the surrounding buildings. Just imagine what will happen if a "massive curve mirror" is facing at your unit! The reflection of heat and light from the curve glass will form a "luan tao sha chi" to the surrounding buildings.

Another concern I have is the safety of the pedestrian below. As recently, there are many instances in Toronto that the glass panels from a few of the high-rise condominium buildings shattered and fell to the streets below. Luckily, so far there are no serious injury reported.  Due to the curvature design of the buildings, it is  become a real engineering challenge to make certain that the glass from the exterior curtain wall is reinforced and secured that it will not fell to the streets below!

Meanwhile, this building project is definitely not on my recommendation list to my feng shui clients!

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