07 Mar Epic London Feng Shui Skyline
Don’t we always do the ‘tourist thing’ when our overseas friends come to stay?
Eco-warrior extraordinaire and looooong time friend Katja Wiese was speaking at the Lush Summit at Old Billingsgate a few weeks back, so I jumped at the chance to catch up with her.
We dined at Darwin’s Brasserie in the Sky Garden, naturally… and had a beautiful dusk walk around Tower of London and over Tower Bridge.
I took some epic photos from the viewing platform of Sky Garden for my digital scrapbook and also to use as illustrations to point out some basic Feng Shui influences in our stately capital, The City of London.
Ever wondered why some buildings feel amazing and others feel a bit ‘off’?
The image above is a simple illustration of how the Five Elements of Chinese Medicine are translated into the built environment. There’s a little more to accurately discerning the element/s of a building, but hopefully you get the idea.
Along with many other Feng Shui factors, the shape of a building relative to its immediate environment, can really influence the feeling of a space. Also the colour of the building relative to its shape can be clashing and cause a subtle feeling of discord. Don’t forget that feng shui is all about subtle energy, so it isn’t entirely obvious to people without being trained properly in the subject.
Water Shaped Buildings
Unusually shaped buildings that are a little asymmetrical or irregular tend to be Water element shaped and these are most at home right next to the river or lake or ocean. They tend to house trading firms, water related industries or artistic/creative companies.
Wood shaped buildings
These are typically the tall, slim ones such as skyscrapers and tower blocks. These are very activating in their energy and suit young people. They also suit waterside environments because water feeds the wood energy of the building shape.
Fire shaped buildings
Fire shaped buildings are pretty unusual and have triangular or pyramid shapes in them. The Louvre is a classic example. The Canary Wharf Tower building in Canary Wharf is a mixture of Wood (tall and slim body) and Fire (pointed, triangular/pyramid shaped head).
Earth shaped buildings
The Earth shaped buildings are those that are squat, square or rectangular as this creates stability, which is one of the energetic qualities of the Earth element.
Metal Shaped buildings
Metal shaped buildings have a strong circular and/or domed theme, like the Government City Hall on Southbank and also older structures like St Paul’s Cathedral and the White House (both are a mixture of Earth and Metal).
The City of London was once a walled area of London and rapidly outgrew the small area, so much of the banking expanded to the East along the River Thames at Canary Wharf. This was an ideal setting for this new development as the water of the river feeds the wood shape of the skyscrapers. Water is also fundamental to the banking industry which was born out of trading and even the newer forms of banking still involve a lot of movement, albeit digital movement, of value indicators. Currency likes to move, just like the currents of water or electricity. Stagnation is never good for anyone in any capacity, whether emotional, mental, spiritual or financial. Energy likes to move but the trick is to also be able to store it too without it stagnating.
The Leader of the Canary Wharf development is the Canary Wharf Tower building because unlike the others it has a ‘Lien Chen hat’ or Fire hat put simply, which is the pyramid point on the top of the Wood shaped body. This leader will always be strong as it is surrounded by ‘assistant buildings’, whereas the Shard is rather on its own, and is overly domineering. It remains to be seen whether the Shard will prove to be a financial success or a drain.
Feng Shui Urban Planning
The principles involved in Feng Shui Urban Planning are very similar to those involved in consulting on a single house or office, however, there are some key differences.
Cities desperately need more awareness of the energetic impact of the layout of infrastructure and the shape of buildings and how they relate to one another. Feng Shui urban planning (my speciality when anyone cares to listen!) is considered vital in the Far East and increasingly Westerners are beginning to understand that Feng Shui is universally applicable and isn’t just some sort of Chinese superstition but in fact an enduring methodology for how to shape the built environment with a care for energy and therefore the wellbeing of the people inside.
I had the privilege of providing a 15 minute talk for Westminster City Council and The Princes Foundation for Building Community at the London Chinatown Design Workshop, and participated in the design think tank at the 2 day design event in 2008 and have supported the further redevelopment of Newport Place in 2014. I was also involved in a European project to redevelop an artist community, and have a mountain of research on major cities throughout the world.
I would welcome the opportunity to present to specialist groups involved in Urban Planning & Property Development & Leisure Design (hotel & spa design) to demonstrate how Feng Shui can add value to larger commercial developments. Do get in touch if you know anyone looking for speakers. Thanks
Further reading recommendations
Find out more about Katja’s charity Nature Fund that she single-handedly founded in 2004 and now has a team to help her protect even more of the planet’s wilderness and natural resources.
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Master Sarah McAllister is owner and founder of Feng Shui Agency Ltd, a UK based Feng Shui consultancy and training company with an international client portfolio and associate Feng Shui architects, Feng Shui Urban Planners and Interior Designers. She is widely regarded as an industry expert and is a sought after lecturer and consultant. She publishes a free monthly newsletter “illuminations” with industry news, practical Feng Shui insight and advice for subscribers. You can sign up with the little box on the homepage here www.fengshuiagency.com