The Poor Feng Shui of Apple’s Proposed Headquarters Could Spell Bad News
Apple plans to create a new Apple Campus 2 in Cupertino, California, a single circular building of 2.8 million square feet of interior space over 4 stories for roughly 13,000 employees. This was designed by Foster + Partners, a firm known for its super sleek, elegant, exquisitely detailed buildings.
Since the release of the news, the critiques range from, “spectacular would be an understatement” to “World’s best office building” to “A retrograde cocoon.” The company has said little about the meaning of the building. The ultimate evaluation and concern should be, “How will this building affect the corporation’s future?”
People in the architectural world do not relate the success and decline of a company with its architecture. Any notion of this link is regarded as ridiculous, even though there has never been an attempt to study the relationship. Feng shui, with its thousand years of accumulated knowledge and wisdom, has clearly established the relationship: A place with good feng shui nourishes the success for people who live and work there, and vice versa. With solid Form School feng shui knowledge, it is not difficult to predict the future rise or fall of a company before it even moves to a new building. In the same way, it’s also easy to predict if a family has financial, health or relationship issues, based on the feng shui of their residence.
The fundamental difference between an architect and a feng shui practitioner is that an architect views a building as a physical body, whereas a feng shui practitioner knows a building is more than a physical body, it is also an energy body and information carrier. What really affects the resident or company most is the chi-energy and information of the building. Chi-energy and information has a higher order of influence. In using the human model as an example, a sound mind (information) and a healthy body (energy) are more important than a beautiful physical body.
From a feng shui point of view, a place with good chi-energy is based on the land the building sits on combined with the energy of the building. Traditional Form School feng shui uses Mountain, Guardian Hill, Energy Spot and Bodies of Water, as the basic features to evaluate the feng shui of a place. These four features metaphorically represent support, protection, growth, and expansion. Just as you can tell a person’s energy and emotion from the form of body movement as well the facial expression, the energy and information of a place are detected from the form of these four features. Without getting into a detailed lecture on fundamental feng shui concepts, let’s take a look of the feng shui of Apple’s Campus 2.
Apple’s new headquarters sits on a large piece of flat land in Cupertino. In feng shui, flat land is a desirable feature. The space-ship like shape has a wholesome form and wholesome energy. However, it is a very dynamic form, a yang form. Dynamic forms such as coliseums, sports arenas, and race tracks resonate with dynamic activity. They do not resonate with corporate and intellectual activity, which also require yin qualities. In my extensive travels and years of research, I have yet to see a successful example of a corporate office space or residential space in a circular shape. The only possible exception is the multi-family Hakka houses, in Fu-Jian province in South-East China. Many were built in the 1700’s yet they are still lived in today. The unique design came from the need to protect families from the constant sieges of that time. Seen from the photo, the center space of the Hakka house is where all living activities take place, a focal point. The ratio of this empty center space in relation to the covered building area of the Hakka house is proportionally ideal.
In contrast, Apple’s new building, with its one mile circumference and one-third mile diameter center, is disproportionate. The open green space in the center is too large and the only focal point is the empty green space. This emptiness, or the lack of a focal point, symbolizes that the soul is missing. This could be the coincidental reflection of the missing of Steve Jobs. But when the focal point, known in feng shui as the energy spot, is empty, no other design features are significant, no matter how elegant and innovative the design.
God may use His image to create man. Humans should use their own bodies as a model for their living and working space. From a feng shui point of view, a building should be like a human body, it should have a strong backbone (spine) for support, a prominent opening (face) to interact with the world, strong arms and legs for protection, and all important organs in the center. In this spaceship-like building, there is no backbone, nor an easily identifiable face, nor a strong center for the company’s internal organs. Just like a circular object, it can spin but not grow.
If the ground breaking takes place in 2012 and is completed in 2015 as projected, it will take two years of operation in the new space to reflect the building’s influence. Therefore, I predict Apple has just five more years of commanding success. Fortunately, by retaining its current Infinite Loop building, Apple will still remain a respectable company. However the super profitability and strong market domination it knows today will come to an end.
[Shan-Tung Hsu, owner of the Blue Mountain Feng Shui Institute in Bellevue. He can be reached at email@example.com.]