On arriving in Hong Kong First my first impression is the architectural aesthetics – as I expected but more beautiful than I imagined. The sleek reflecting metallic high rise towers somehow create a feeling of space rather than a feeling of claustrophobia.
They stand next to well ordered apartment blocks which have air con boxes stacked in neat rows on especially built ledges one under the other all the way to the top. The balconies are sometimes draped with green netting or precarious origami style bamboo scaffolding. There is a lot of new buildings and renovations going n continuously – a sign of prosperity. It amazes me, though, how many middle aged or older female construction workers there are.
Below, a child’s toy is amongst the washing dangling outside a window. Diners sit at tables on elongated balconies hundreds of feet up – enjoying their momentary escape from the stress of life below.
In Central Hong Kong and along its’ luscious coast from Aberdeen to Stanley there seems to be an emphasis on thoughtful design, a good use of space, pleasing colours and a respect for nature. I read an article in the China Post about the importance of feng shui in the Hong Kong cityscape as well as within properties – I notice lifts always exclude floors numbered 4 or 14 as the word four in Chinese sounds like the word death. It’s a pity I am in room 7 as the word eight is close to the word for fortune in Chinese. The number three is also lucky and groups of three are particularly good. I spotted such a group outside the HSBC building standing next to one of its two lions which are there to guard its’ wealth.
Three is a similar word to birth or life and you can see above how important that might have been in the grouping of buildings in Kowloon as seen from the 100th floor of the International Commerce Centre –
The result of Feng Shui being used in creating Hong Kong becomes more obvious as you walk around. You begin to notice the layout of buildings, the sea reflected in windows And big holes in buildings called ‘dragon holes’ .
Buildings always have the mountains behind them and the water in front. HSBC bank spent millions consulting experts to make sure they optimised good feng shui. Statue square ( with a large statue of the bank’s founder ) in front of the building and the hollow atrium beneath the ground floor allows free flow of good energy.
Its’ neighbour, the tall bamboo-like Bank of China, however, has been criticised by feng shui experts for its sharp edged design which they believe cuts into the fortune of its neighbours…HSBC has counteracted this by installing cannon like structures on their rooftop to ward off any Negative energy – they do look quite agressively defensive from my view from the top deck of a tram –
And looking out over the harbour from a ferry you can see the holes in the buildings in Repulse bay on the Eastern coast of Hong Kong – these provide the dragons an unobstructed path to the water, so that the winds of positive energy continue to flow through the city.