Feng shui is a topic that rarely enters contemporary architectural discourse, although many architects have clients who find feng shui principles important to their project in one way or another, and with the recent new year celebrations Chinese who just passed, what is the best time to discuss the role of feng shui in architecture and the home? Both feng shui and acupuncture are natural sciences derived from the “Book of Changes,” believed to have originated with the legendary Emperor Fu Xi in 3322 BC. the book symbolically represents the universe as organized, rhythmic, and purposeful, allowing the reader to infer relationships between himself and the cosmos beyond normal levels of perception. architects can argue that they are some kind of feng shui specialist on this basis.
In a nutshell, feng shui aims to align the earth and life with the cosmos to receive positive energy. while this may sound a bit l. ron hubbard, it is no exaggeration to consider the basic principles and results of great architecture on the same basis. The Feng Shui method of organization covers all aspects of living and working spaces, from interiors, bedrooms, bathrooms, and kitchens, to gardens and outdoor spaces. The fundamentals of feng shui are simple and rational, and can be very easily applied to planning a home or work space. for the most part these are common sense principles that most architects would adhere to in a general sense, particularly principles related to cross ventilation, light, and the generosity of space.
Reading: Feng shui in architecture
We have had a steady increase in inquiries about feng shui in recent years and have even specified some of these principles in the project summary sections of recent fee agreements with our clients. I’ve outlined some of these principles below and suggested how they can be applied to design.
principles of feng shui
The basic principles of feng shui are to design spaces that allow for the clear, unobstructed flow of warm, harmonious energy. High ceilings and generous, well-lit spaces with good airflow and lighting are excellent foundations for a feng shui home.
entrance to the house
The main pedestrian entrance to a house should be easily accessible from the road and be the most prominent entrance to the house to receive the most positive energy.
This is particularly relevant in the context of garages which can dominate the elevation of the street if care is not taken in their design. Likewise, overcompensating for the pedestrian entrance with columns that look like they are from a Roman square is also not a really smart alternative. A sensible design approach to driveways, gates, intercoms, property numbers, mailboxes, plants and lighting can provide a sense of priority over vehicle entry to the site. Many architecturally designed projects can be detected based on the attention to detail of these elements. these items are mostly neglected in the average home where an architect isn’t involved and as much as i don’t mind the odd stroll through the big chain hardware stores i hardly think a brunswick green colonial letterbox would generate much positive energy for contemporary australians who reside there.
Cooking is essential for food and sustenance. it is important not to have the kitchen too close to the entrance or back door as it allows energy to easily escape. place water elements (sinks, dishwasher) separate from fire elements (stove/oven). happy chefs in turn create nutritious meals for a happy family.
In addition to these principles, the kitchen should be the command center of the home’s social spaces (living, dining and outdoor living) allowing families to interact during meal preparation time. All of our projects that have included a pool in the design ensure that the kitchen planning allows for full supervision of children when using the pool.
Sleeping well is essential for your well-being. feng shui principles suggest good access to natural light and cross ventilation, as well as a solid wood bed rather than a metal bed. avoid televisions, visible exercise equipment, and strong colors in the bedroom to ensure sleep spaces are harmonious and relaxing
Brightly painted walls in children’s bedrooms are rather patronizing. Most kids these days have more toys than they can push around with a paint stir stick, so turning their room into another big toy is completely unnecessary. letting children explore their senses and experience the sunlight, breeze, bushes and trees, insects and birds outside their bedroom windows without the distraction of bright patterns and colors on the walls allows them to your child experiences the world more deeply when he is in that calm (but very brief). ) when they wake up, fall asleep, or daydream during playtime in these spaces.
The living room should be a sanctuary that retains the most energy and is therefore best located in the center of the house. feng shui principles suggest orienting living rooms and furniture in the south and west corners, and avoiding furniture in the north and east sectors.
Obviously these principles are a bit rigid, but they do make sense in terms of furniture facing the direction of the sun. most living spaces will connect with outdoor gardens, lawns and patios to ensure this most used space in the home enjoys excellent sunlight year-round, so it makes sense for furniture to connect with these indoor outdoor spaces when looking in the direction of the sun.
The bathroom should be located away from central areas such as the kitchen and living room, as the energies of these spaces are incompatible. Employ organizational strategies like neat and accessible closets that will keep this area clean and free of clutter.
I’ve built a handful of projects for other architects, one of which had a bathroom door that opened directly into the dining room. I raised with the architect that this is a serious concern and, as is often the case, was reminded that I was only there to detail and build the project. some peers conveniently see me as “just a builder” when my opinion doesn’t suit them, but that’s a story for another blog post. while the finishes and details of the project were exceptional, the direct connection between the bathroom and the dining room was, well, pretty ridiculous. it’s hard to enjoy a meal when you peek into the bathroom toilet between entree and entrée.
See also: Feng Shui for Felines – Modern Cat