Feng Shui and Frank Lloyd Wright:

April 3, 2013

According to Cate Bramble… “Consider the hemicycle designs that Wright innovated. A hemicycle is not inherently good Feng Shui….I would suggest that many people who think Frank Lloyd Wright was some kind of Feng Shui savant have seen the Guggenheim or a picture of Fallingwater, but generally don’t look much further.”
http://architecture.about.com/library/blfeng-hemi.htm

Having visited the Guggenheim Museum only recently, I have found Cate Bramble’s statement above not to be true, not only none of the feng shui classics mentioned that a hemicycle is not inherently good feng shui, but there are many traditional Chinese architecture done with hemicycle or in a circular form like the Temple of Heaven in Beijing and the Tulou (folk housing complex) in Fujian.

With the Guggenheim Museum, Frang Lloyd Wright (FLW) designed a circular form spiraling down like the inside of a nautilus shell for the interior and a hemicycle styling for the facing.

From a feng shui perspective, both the interior and the exterior worked well for an art museum, where internally the viewers can look outward at the paintings and artworks and look inward at each other as they walk up and down the circular ramps. Thus created “ganying” (mutual resonance) between not only the viewers with the objects but also the viewers with each other as well.

Externally, a hemicycle belongs to the element Metal and looking at work of art is a form of communication, so it can be correlated to the element Water. Since Metal generates Water, we can say, from a Five Elements point of view, the hemicycle styling supports the activity of an art museum and it makes good feng shui.

There are many other reasons I can mention that this building has good feng shui, like the “shoushan” (received mountain) way the architect treated the front entrance to creat a generous “mingtang” (bright hall) to guide he sheng qi into the building, but these three example will serve to show that FLW can do buildings well with good feng shui, even though he knows nothing of the subject, because good architecture always has good feng shui and it will last the test of time.

In Part II to come, I will talk about feng shui and FLW with regards to Fallingwater.

solomon-r-guggenheim-museum-new-york

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