That it was ever designed on principles of Feng Shui is the last thing on anyone’s mind whenever they see the raw concrete floors, black doors, cold stainless steel fixtures, and the long sweeping sharp lines that delineate this box house. Even on closer inspection no one would imagine that the design philosophy that produced this 40sqm and 60sqm tandem is deeply rooted in Chinese Geomantic Traditions and in a conscientious effort to make the house as ecologically sound and as climatically responsive as possible.
BALANCE is the foundation of the cosmos and this is the basic precept that the house was built on. Any structure must encompass spaces that are haven for passive energy (Yin Qi) and receptive to active energy (Yang Qi) to be Fortunate and Prosperous. Any space that is too yang disperses luck while spaces that are too yin decays it. And so the distribution of space and layout was not in the least random. Everything was deliberate and purposeful.
The house, as well as its fenestrations, is oriented to face either mild morning sun (Invigorating Yang) or a subdued late afternoon exposure (Contemplative Yin) to ensure the house stays cool even in hot tropical weather. Oversized windows and a high ceiling keep a constant stream of cool air circulating while also allowing natural light in. Warm morning sun is received in the bathroom and is absorbed into the dark colored concrete walls which translates to balmy temperatures on otherwise chilly mornings and cooler temperatures for quick and refreshing midday and afternoon showers! The kitchen capitalizes on a southeasterly exposure which means it’s well lit and energizing in the morning and shaded during hottest part of the day. And while direct sunlight is utilized in the kitchen and bathroom area to neutralize mold and mildew where it is most likely to occur, year round diffused natural light is what the bedroom receives due to its northerly exposure.
The roof is passively ventilated by creating a temperature gradient which pulls hot air out of the void space in between the roofing material and the ceiling which is an added buffer against the severe tropical heat. As evidenced the residents attest to rarely having to resort to using fans or air-conditioning. Slats that vent the roof are both functional and an aspect of the design.
The box shape of the house came about as a specific request from the owners that the structure be a whole shape, a complete shape to reflect and emphasize the balance, wholeness and completeness of the universe. And so too, to benefit from a holistic kind of luck where it not only ensured stable finances but more importantly nurtured enriching relationships and robust health.
The final design produced spaces that while still respecting traditions did not fly against logic or sacrifice practicality, functionality, and efficiency. Here the principles of geomancy are pared down to its most rudimentary. The over all result is an enabling and empowering space that makes it easy for it’s occupants to live comfortably and live well.