The Interlaced Orientations of The Interlace

September 12, 2013

Feng Shui students often have trouble working out the sitting and facing (or the orientation) of a complex housing developments like The Interlace in Singapore (showed in the first photo below) because they are not aware of the Feng Shui principle “Yiwu yi Taiji” 一物一太極 (“One Item one Taiji”) and how the Form School of feng shui is written in Chinese.

Form School in Chinese is called “Xing-Shi Pai” 形勢派, literally means the Form and Configuration School, which implied that when we look at the feng shui of an environment, we are looking at the form of the individual components and how they would configured together as a whole.

From the outset the Interlace looks like the architect has been playing with his Jenga blocks to come up with his design; with each individual item being one Jenga block and he configured them together so when stacked up they would look like a 888 figure made of Trigrams when viewed from the air (showed in the second photo below).

So from the whole development point of view, the individual item is the singular Jenga block and we can look at its orientations separately, based on one Jenga block being one item with its own form and its own Taiji, along the saying, “Yiwu yi Taiji”.

However, within each individual block there are many units (showed in third photo below), and each unit houses one family or one group of occupants, so from each unit point of view it is one “item” within a block, so we can also work out the orientation of each residential unit being one item under consideration within the configuration of one block within the development.

The orientation of each individual unit is easy to work out because the architect has grouped the yang areas (the living room, kitchen and dinning) at the facing and the yin areas (bedrooms and utilities) at the sitting. However, for each “Jenga” block as an item, the orientation is ambiguous, it can be either of the longer sides because the architect has designed units of similar size and layouts on both sides.

For the whole development as one item, then the orientation is even more difficult to ascertain, because the layout is very erratic because it is based on a pre-conceived “look” from the air, and there is no Yin Yang clarity from a ground level to speak of. The facing could be anywhere along the 360 degrees.

What this means is the quality of the environmental qi pattern is clear for the occupants of each individual units, but it is not so for each block and even less for the whole complex. This could lead to the correlative thinking that the communal spirit for each family is good, for each block it is not strong and for the whole complex it could be erratic. Alternatively, it could be a place where the units are mostly rented out and there are very few owner-occupants.

But we have to bear in mind, correlation is not causation, and this is only a correlative metaphor used to express a certain uneasy feelings when observing the form and configuration of the project from the outside looking in, the residents living inside might have different experience to contradict what we can observe. The correlation we used here is based on the assumption that an ambiguous environment (or qi pattern) will often lead to ambiguous behaviors, consequently the residents living there will find it hard to come together.

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6 Responses to “The Interlaced Orientations of The Interlace”


  1. This is a very unusual design, made by a French architect who, as Howard said, was probably playing with children’s building blocks, and probably was not aware of feng shui when he designed it.
    I used to live in the same street as this building, and was invited to check the overall feng shui at an early design stage. I declined, as my view was (and is) that the feng shui of the whole complex is erratic and that meaningful analysis can only be done on a block by block basis. Many of the blocks are however either “crushed” by a block above them, or project out into space totally unsupported. This results in lack of support at work or in the family.
    The one redeeming feature is that prospective owners have the choice of 12 different possible facing directions.
    The feeling among the local Chinese community is however that the feng shui is very bad. I therefore predict that most units will be bought by expats not aware of feng shui, with a few bought by very westernised Chinese. As Howard said, probably many will be rented out, but with a high turnover of tenants.
    As a side note, the site was originally occupied by a nice old condo called Gillman Heights, and all of the original owners were promised units in the new Interlace. There was much resentment that the replacement units offered to them were some of the smallest and worst aspected from a feng shui point of view.

  2. howardchoy Says:

    Thank you Stephen for giving us your valuable comments as a “local”.

  3. dtay Says:

    In other words, they were screwed from the top and bottom…in fengshui terms it means both ends had wind and water coming out ….like most FS practioners often do with their mouth or is it the other end?

    • howardchoy Says:

      Hi Daren,
      I can understanding your reaction, some people like this sort of buildings and swear by them. We viewed them from a certain perspective, which might not be agreeable to all. Please do tell us what you like about this project, so we can understand where you are coming from as well, especially if you sell or own one of the units.
      Howard Choy

  4. Jane Langof Says:

    Thanks Howard – this is a fascinating case study, and very interesting comments by Stephen. I’ll be interested to hear about this development in the future.


  5. i TRIED, I wrote a beautiful contribution but when Amazon reset my password, they didn’t recognise the one they had just approved!!! What incompetence. Should have logged in with Fb,


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