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Feng Shui Architecture

by Dr Mauro Rahardjo

In the last two decades, Architects’ clients demand Feng Shui to be adopted in their building projects. In some ways they ask the architect to include Feng Shui concept embedded in the design when the design is almost finish. The architects were shocked when they found that they have to do major changes to their (almost finished) design. Many of them are reluctant to follow up design changes in order to meet Feng Shui, because it means that the architectural concept may not meet Feng Shui rules; and consequently the architects are obliged to encounter topsiturvy design procedure. However, as building owners insist on using Feng Shui by sending the Feng Shui Consultant to the designers, then, at a certain degree this situation created tensions between architects and the building owners. Why ? simply because there is now an interference from the third party, the FENG SHUI MASTER ! It is not seldom that Feng Shui masters act like what architect’s do, dictating the spatial layout which is often contrary to architectural concept. It is as though we have a big ship with two captains.

This situation is not conducive in professional world; there are tensions between architect’s and the Feng Shui consultants. In fact in many cases, Feng Shui Masters had been accused to be the cause of destroying the aesthetics of the building. For many years, architects fear building owner may bring in Feng Shui Master to interfere with his design works; because many of them hardly ever know what Feng Shui is about; besides, it is not common to mix up architectural concept with Feng Shui principles. For many architects, Feng Shui offers complicated rules which are not only difficult to the eye of the architects, but also contradictive to their design.

However, to the writer’s experience, the dilemma occurred because there were significant misunderstandings between Designers and Feng Shui Masters. Feng Shui and Architecture surely can go hand in hand. In the modern world, architects are educated and trained in formal schools and universities. Architecture and buildings nowadays have progressed and advance significantly, and so does modern architectural science. On the other hand, Feng Shui Masters are educated and trained formally only in the past three decades, and the taught subjects, we must say, still hold the basic traditional knowledge as when it was used in the ancient times (recently called ‘Authentic Feng Shui’). As a result, only few architects know about Feng Shui, In parallel with that, only few Feng Shui consultants know the nature of modern design and architecture. Therefore for “both” sides, each phenomenon appears weird one to another, yet they are actually managing the same subject, i.e., interior, buildings, building blocks, neighborhood environment, the city, in short, the built environment.

Architecture design focuses on creating space for building utility and building aesthetics (often called : ‘architect’s creativity’) in order to psychologically satisfy the user’s needs, whereas Feng Shui blends compass orientation with the purpose to create balance and harmony of Yin Yang Five elements symbolized by architectural forms, colour and textures in order to benefit and be auspicious for the users. It is clear that the objectives of Feng Shui and Architecture are two things quite similar; only that they go different way.

How shall we bridge the gap between Modern Architecture and Authentic Feng Shui ? the writer suggests, either architects learn Feng Shui more deeply or Feng Shui Master learn how to design buildings. The writer is an architect since 1977; for the first decade in his design profession, the writer had experienced being criticized and blamed by Feng Shui Masters who evaluated his designs; so in order to comprehend Feng Shui, the writer had listened and learned from local/traditional Feng Shui masters about Feng Shui and design; these local Feng Shui experts were involved by the building owners in the projects.

In his effort to be an architect who claimed as well be a Feng Shui consultant, the writer self-educated the ancient art and science of Feng Shui. Besides listening to local Feng Shui experts, the writer read books and article writings on Feng Shui which were available since early 1980s, In addition, the writer had encouraged architecture students to do research and apply Feng Shui in their designs. After about 3 years, until the clients in the country recognized him to be an architect who was skillful in Feng Shui services, after then more and more clients have been hiring him for their projects, not asking for architecture design, but instead his Feng Shui expertise !

If an architect wants to adopt Feng Shui in his design, but does not want to go in depth in Feng Shui study; then he at least he needs to know the basic principles of Feng Shui and how to apply them in his works. Now, the question is which Feng Shui Principles are appropriate to learn in order an architect can practice his design profession by including Feng Shui ?  We all understand that studying Feng Shui thoroughly might take much longer time than studying architecture. Why? because Architecture is an applied art. Students of architecture are trained in design since the first year they enter the University; gradually they become skillful in designing. Whereas with Feng Shui, student will not be able to practice Feng Shui until they know the whole picture and knowledge of Feng Shui; consequently, it is difficult to start a Feng Shui career, even if one holds several certificates or diploma in Feng Shui studies.

Therefore the most important is by grabbing the main essence of Feng Shui principles which can be applied in design. There are two most essentials Feng Shui Principles architects need to know for Design. One is related to what is called  Form School Feng Shui; this relates to the landscape which relates harmony between building and nature, by judging forms and shapes, colour, and textures of buildings. Second is related to Compass School Feng Shui, with two popular techniques used in design, i.e., Eight Mansions (八宅)and Flying Star Feng Shui (飞星).

In order to know further about those principles; and how to use them in design, it is the intention of this article to show examples of Feng Shui applied in architecture design.

The writer concludes that an architect in order to be able to enhance his architecture design with Feng Shui, it is imperative for him to practice Feng Shui in his design works; only then the gap between Feng Shui and arhitecture can be eliminated and harmonized into a synergic combination. This article is intended to offer examples of how to apply Feng Shui in Architecture design.


HOUSE DESIGN : Family MD at Simprug, JAKARTA :

Designing a house is perhaps one of the most complicated work in architecture. A young family with two sons want to build a new home, designed according to Feng Shui on an empty lot at SIMPRUG region in Jakarta.

Sometimes some Feng Shui students ask the writer to explain step by step procedure in Designing Architecture with Feng Shui. To answer this question is not easy, because each individual case may require different design procedures. However the simplest answer to the question is by pointing Design Problems which is related to Feng Shui. It is important for an architect to identify design problem, however it is not only problem in design, more specifically the Feng Shui problem that need to be solved. Just like in Architectural Design Method, it will be useless to come up with Design without showing what problems being solved.

Design problems in Feng Shui design may be classified into two groups: one emanating from the site, second emerging from personal Feng Shui of the clients (such as Gua number, Ba Zi, or other data which may be identified as problems). The Site is facing EAST, Sitting on the WEST. According to Ba Zhai this is WEST GUA HOUSE which is suitable for Head of Family that belongs to West Group Gua. Now, the head of family, Mr. MD was born on 1978, having a (2) KUN Gua number; his wife was born in 1981, having a (8) GEN Gua number; the children, one was a girl born in 2008, having a (7) DUI Gua number, a WEST Gua number, and the boy born in 2012, having a (6) QIAN Gua number. This family, all belong to WEST GROUP GUA. So, the problem is now already identified, e.g., the occupants are fighting for ‘West Sectors’, i.e., West, North West, South West and North East.

In Ba Zhai method, there are four GOOD directions, and there are four BAD direction. The GOOD sectors and compass directions are used for Entrance, Sleeping Room, Study Room, and Place for prayer. On the other hand, the BAD sectors and Compass direction will be used for Bathroom/Water Closets, Storage, Kitchen or Pantry, and Car Garage. Even so, for the writer, the proper way of designing a house with Feng Shui is by combining the Ba Zhai method with Flying Star Feng Shui. We are looking for the harmony between the two methods. As the lot faces 94o from North, or EAST sector2, the Flying Star pattern is as follows:

For an architect, it suffice to know that such a flying star pattern has good and bad energy in each sector. The bad energy should be avoided for important functions, whereas the good energy may be used for important functions. The pattern above should be combined with Ba zhai Method, which is formulated in the Gua number of each individual occupants. How to combine BaZhai method and Flying Star method ? The way to do it is by looking at what sectors are good sector for each occupant in the house.

Considering Gua number of Mr. MD, the best sector for him is NORTH EAST (Sheng Qi); here we find the sector is occupied by 7*9 star combination. In 2014 (Period 8), star *9 is good as it is a luck star; besides, the *9 star is the Water star which is good for wealth of the young family. Moreover, the star *9’s  nature is Fire, it is good to control the bad star *7 (past fortune). In many book of Flying Star, the combination of 7*9 star may result in Fire hazard (which is bad if we place Kitchen here), however, as the stars sit on the North East Sector, which is EARTH palace, hence the Fire strengthens Qi energy in this palace. Therefore, the Master Bedroom for the couple may be positioned in North East. For the girl, whose Sheng Qi is North West, and the sector  has double *9 star, is good for her to have her bed room here; while for the boy, whose Sheng Wi is WEST, and the west sector has double *8 star, it is good for him to have his bedroom in the West Sector.

The South sector has a good star combination of 6*1, The South sector (Palace for FIRE), is suitable for Kitchen; and as it is best for the Kitchen according to Ba Zhai method. The centre having the best star combination 1*8*6 can be activated with a swimming pool; while the bad sector having 2*5 (SOUTH EAST) for the garage, and the other bad sector 5*2 (NORTH) in the north is intended for Bath/WC.


Opening a business in Singapore is not an easy job. Everything must be very clear, very detailed. For over two years, the owner of Brew Maison had looked for a space to rent in different places in some Centers in Singapore, but the space was very tight to rent; in fact two times she alredy applied for space rent in two different establishment, but had been rejected. Now, the third one, a brand new building at Lavender Street, was finally found..

This is a new medium size mall building facing South East; sitting NORTH WEST. She was born in 1965, which means the building main entrance South West and the back is North East, exactly fits for her Gua  number,  i.e., = 7 (Dui) – West Group Gua Building. She was lucky, as the first two establishments which she almost rented, was rejected, and they were East Group Gua Building.

As a new building (constructed in 2014), it is of Period 8 building, with Flying Star map superimposed to the whole building as follows (see Figure 5) :

What could be the Feng Shui concept to solve this problem? First, we need to look at the shape of the space, and the Flying Star pattern of the building.

Unfortunately, the shape of the space she got is like a ‘chopper’.  According to Feng Shui, the sharp edge of the shape is inauspicious. This means that it is not proper to place important function on that side (such as Cashier and Kitchen).

If we superimpose the micro Flying Star chart into the Cafe plan, we can place the CASHIER at North East sector (1*8) or North West (8*6). Considering the Gua Number of owner’s best direction, North West (Sheng Qi for her) is allocated for cashier.

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1 comment

stockton architects April 30, 2020 - 9:55 am

As a Newbie, I am continuously exploring online
for articles that can aid me. Thank you


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