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6 August 2019


Feng shui translates into “Wind and Water” and is the ancient Chinese practice of strategically positioning objects and buildings in harmony with nature to bring forth good fortune. Feng shui originates from an ancient Chinese respect for the environment and the belief that cosmological influences strongly affect our everyday lives. Many people in Hong Kong believe that good feng shui can result in prosperity while at the same time ward off bad luck. For this reason, feng shui masters are consulted on almost everything from home purchases and office floor plans; to the enormous architectural and engineering projects which have made Hong Kong what it is today.


Here are 5 examples of feng shui in practice for you to look out for when you stroll around Hong Kong...


1. HSBC Main Building, Central


The HSBC building is widely considered to have excellent feng shui. Instead of a ground floor, the building has a high, hollow atrium, inviting natures wind and positive qi (energy) inside. The escalators in the atrium are placed at an angle to the entrance, which prevents evil spirits from flowing upwards into the building. In addition, a pair of large bronze lions guard the entrance of the building and symbolise wealth and prosperity.


When you visit this iconic building, take a look at the sharp edges and two swords pointing into the sky of the neighbouring Bank of China Tower. These designs go against feng shui beliefs as sharp features are seen as ‘shar chi’, or ‘killing energy’ knifing down its nearby buildings and the people around it. For this reason two maintenance cranes in the shape of cannons on the roof were installed by HSBC pointing directly at the Bank of China, defending it against any negative energy.


 The HSBC building with it's rooftop canons pointing towards the Bank of China Tower

Photo Credits: DiscoverHongKong


2. Bank of China Tower, Central


Although this tower is known for ignoring good feng shui principles, a number of unlucky incidents added fuel to local superstitions about the building’s negative feng shui leading to public criticism. As a result, some features were added to rectify the situation including a small waterfall besides the building along with giant rocks imported from China, representing harmony and stability. Several plants and trees were also planted around the building to purify the environment and nurture good energy.


 The sharp edges and two swords of the Bank of China Tower pointing into the sky

Photo Credits: DiscoverHongKong


3. The Repulse Bay


With plenty of surrounding mountains and water, Hong Kong’s environment naturally has good feng shui. In Chinese culture, dragons are symbols of nobility, strength and good luck, creating positive energy as they pass from their mountainous homes to the water to drink. People say this movement can be felt as the winds blow towards the coast. For this reason, anything which hinders this daily voyage will give rise to bad luck. To remedy this, Hong Kong buildings close to water feature holes called “dragon gates” allowing dragons to pass through unimpeded. The Repulse Bay building, on the Coast of Hong Kong Island is the most visually striking example of this. 


The Repulse Bay building with it's so called “dragon gates” 


4. Hopewell Centre, Wan Chai


Opened in 1980, this 64-story building was the tallest in the city until it was overtaken by the Bank of China Tower a decade later. After consultations with a feng shui master, it was concluded that the building’s slim, cylindrical shape too closely resembled a candle or a burning cigarette. In Chinese culture, these images have connotations with fire and death, putting the building at risk. To rectify this, a circular swimming pool was added to the roof. This was done as the presence of water serves to “put out” any fiery negative energy enhancing the buildings feng shui.


The Hopewell Centre with it's slim, cylindrical shape, closely resembling a candle or burning cigarette


5. IFC, Central


Both One ifc and Two ifc are situated on Victoria Harbour front, which, on its own already gives them a feng shui advantage as the open water represents wealth, allowing water, or wealth, to flow towards the buildings. Also, if you take a closer look at the iconic roof of Two ifc you will find that it is designed to look like a crown, a symbol of its elite and prestigious status in the financial world. Some speculate that they instead look like fingers, reaching out to the heavens, wanting to grab more money. Like most Hong Kong skyscrapers, ‘taboo floors’ such as 14 and 24 are omitted, due to the fact that number four sounds like the word ‘death’ in Cantonese.


The roof of Two ifc designed like a crown

Photo Credits: DiscoverHongKong



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