Friday, February 15, 2008

Determining the Facing of a Apartment

Determining the Facing of a Apartment: Different Feng Shui Masters’ Perspectives

This is one of the most confusing aspects in the practice of Feng Shui and I have compiled most of the methods here. Whether the advice given by your Feng Shui consultant works or not is dependent on this factor. Using an incorrect method can mean the whole audit has turned to naught. Take a look and you can see how messy the standards can be. By the way, the term apartment here would refer to high-rise buildings that normally comes with elevators e.g. condominiums.

Disclaimer: Please note that this is not a comprehensive guide but only notes taken along my research journey. There are many factors like concepts of Yin Yang Dong Jing (Yin and Yang aspects, Movement and Stillness aspects), internal and external Luan Tou (Forms) and experiences that cannot be put in writing. Some masters use a few of the different methods and they will choose the method most appropriate depending on the actual situation. There are also masters who sworn by their one method only. There are no hard and fast rules about it. There will be mistakes since I did not learn from the masters personally and thus are based on my deductions only from readings from all possible sources.

The Main Door of the Unit as Facing:

Yap Cheng Hai 叶清海 (Malaysia)

This is what Master Yap Boh Chu (the son of Grand Master Yap Cheng Hai) wrote in The Sun Property Plus when asked about the facing of an apartment unit:

(Dated 25th November 2005) You are absolutely right, it is more difficult to define the facing of an apartment. Some feng shui schools consider the balcony as the facing, while others consider the apartment entrance or the main entrance to the block as the facing. For me, it would depend on the circumstances. I would usually consider the apartment entrance as the main facing and my case histories have proven me to be correct.

(Dated 17th February 2006) Problems crop up when determining the facing of a house, especially for a condominium. Certain masters would determine the facing of a condominium from the balcony, basically standing at the balcony door looking outwards. We have found that this is not necessarily correct. In most cases we would use the actual entrance door of your condominium, standing inside the unit and measuring outwards. Why measure outwards? This is the direction the Qi is coming from.

Also, this is an extract from an article in The Sun Property Plus titled “What to do for Condos and Apartments” in which Master Yap Cheng Hai and his son explain more about apartment facing:

(Dated 15th April 2005) For a landed property, the direction it faces is equated to the direction of the main door. There is no quarrel here. But what about condominiums and apartments?

The confusion arises because the owner has to enter the common entrance to the condo or apartment grounds before getting into his or her own unit within the block. So, which entrance is considered the property’s main door? The common entrance (foyer) or the one that leads directly to the owner’s dwelling?

With the popularity of condo and apartment living on the rise, its a question many are asking. We ask Grandmaster Yap and his son, Boh Chu, who point out that there are two options one can consider. This is provided for under two major schools of feng shui — Ba Zhai (8 mansions) and the popular Flying Stars.

Ba Zhai
This school of feng shui is very clear. The entrance to the respective condo or apartment unit is considered its main door. So, this is where the owner should tap his auspicious direction.

On the other hand, while the common entrance to the condo or apartment project is not important to the individual unit owners or dwellers, it is important to the developer.

Flying Stars
Some find this school of feng shui confusing. The entrance is considered as the qi koh or mouth of qi (energy) of the property. In other words, the main door represents the mouth of the property — where the all-important qi is ushered into the premises.

In ancient China where feng shui originated, most dwellings had only one main door and a back door. This is often no longer the case in modern times. Condos and apartments, in particular, have multiple entrances — the guarded gate, at the respective block and, often, the balcony door.

Some feng shui practitioners see the main entrance to a condo block as the most important. Others point to the balcony door instead, reasoning that as the largest opening in the unit, this is where the greatest inward flow of qi is. Yet another school of thought insists that the main entrance of a dwelling should be the unit door itself.

The Yaps consider the specific door to a condo or apartment unit as its main entrance because this is the door that determines one’s entry into the dwelling. The next important things would be the entrance to the condo or apartment block, where relevant.

This is, however, only a guideline and not a definitive answer. Diligent feng shui practitioners should take into account the direction of both doors — common and specific.

“In our opinion and experience, the balcony door does not qualify as the main door. This is taking into consideration that the doorway is defined by the action of entering and exiting a property, and in the process, bringing in the qi from outside the property,” say the Yaps.

One can’t possibly walk in through the balcony door, nor can one exit from the balcony door to leave the unit.

Imagine if your unit were on the 20th floor. It would be impossible to ‘enter’ the balcony from the outside unless you are into extreme sports, rappelling from the roof or with the help of a helicopter!

The same applies to windows. They cannot be considered ‘entrances’.

Peter So 苏民峰 (Hong Kong)
In his instructional videos titled "Feng Shui Lecture Of Master So Vol 1 & 2", he has explained that the main door of your own unit is the facing, never the balcony or the windows since you do not enter your home via them. We should use the elevator door on our level as the facing reference if we are analyzing the feng shui of the entire level. The main entrance of the whole building is used only if you are the developer or owner of the whole building.

The Most Yang Side of the Unit as Facing:

Pak Hok Ming白鹤鸣 (Hong Kong)

Joseph Yu (Canada)

Larry Sang (United States)

Lynn Yap (Singapore)

Heluo aka Roel Hill (The Netherlands)

Kartar Diamond (United States)

Chen Bo Yu 陈柏瑜 (Taiwan)

Eva Wong (United States)

Fan Rong 梵羢 (Taiwan)

The Most Yang Side of the Unit as Facing Provided the Main Door Is Not At Sitting Side:

Tan Khoon Yong (Singapore)

Neo Zhen Jue (Singapore)

The Facing Is Based On the Level of the Unit:

Edward Li Kui Ming 李居明 (Hong Kong): For level 1 to 5, use the main entrance of the whole building. Level 6 and above, use the unit’s door facing.

Lilian Too (Malaysia): For level 1 to 8, use the facing entrance of the whole building. Level 9 and above, the side with a view from the balcony or patio will be used as the facing since this is akin to living in the high mountains and the Qi distribution will be different.

Cecil Lee (Singapore): For level 1 to 7, use the unit’s door facing. Level 8 and above, the side with a view from the balcony or patio will be used as the facing.

The Facing Is Based On the Facing of the Whole Building:

Joey Yap 叶威明 (Malaysia)

Vincent Koh (Singapore)

Song Yin Chen宋英成 (Taiwan)

The Facing Is Based On the Main Entrance of the Whole Building:

Yeung Dengkwong 杨椗光 (Hong Kong)

Johnny Chan陈癸龙 (Hong Kong)

Stephen Skinner (Malaysia)

Lum Kwok Hung 林國雄 (Hong Kong)
Notes: In his book on Xuan kong Flying Stars, he wrote:

Below are some interesting apartment floor plans, which do you think is the facing side of each of them?

Are the methods above applicable to these apartments? I firmly believe that Mr "Qi" will not arrive and enter an apartment unit just because a famous feng shui master says so. It comes in accord to the landscape and the physical structure both externally and internally. Is it able to understand the facade that the architect had intended the building to have? Can it be contained in a skeletal structure (with minimal walls and multiple openings) and influence every household under that same roof? Will it come knocking at an entrance facing a Ming Tang or another entrance used by most of the occupants? A young master from my neighboring country says that he has learned from many Hong Kong masters whose expertise are in high-rise buildings' feng shui and his method of determining the facing is the correct one. But if this is so, how come the few most famous Hong Kong masters (see the list above) could not agree on a standardized method and none of them uses this young master's method?

As for the use of the main door, Master Howard Choy has indicated to me the parts in Shen Shi Xuan Kong classic that states that it is not used to determine the facing of a house. Here is one of the page from the classic:

Also, in the Bazhai classic "Jin Guang Dou Lin Jing" (Classic of the Dipper Casting its Golden Light) , there's indication that the house's facing is not the main door's facing.

Alvin Chua


Anonymous said...

Hi, very nice blog you have. I took up a interest in FS recently. To have a ramp up of the knowledge first (before learning from masters), I digest some books, and certain questions came up. Like determination of facing, Eight Mansions working with Flying Stars together, whether Ancient placement of 'artifacts (e.g. Qilin/pagoda)' really comes into FS stuff, and some say Water is Yang, some say is Yin. After going through all the stuff and looking for info, most of the times i was thrown back to look at the basics again; Yin Yang origin etc. For facing, i try to understand their logic for their stance, some wasnt convincing, some logical but either do not want to write or share to public the main points etc. I agree on your points that understanding the logic of the ancient or origins of FS, the landscape, the environment etc one must consider every aspect.

I hope everyone with interest in FS to go thru the books (which most will start with) but do not apply right away, instead look for holes, ask critical questions and see differences in both, from there, one is actually starting to learn only.


Alvin Chua said...

Hi MG,

Yes, we have to question the logic and the background of somethings before we start practicing. Even with Masters from generations of lineage, we have to question the reason behind some of their theories. Because if one of the theories are flawed, it could mean the error have been blindly passed down over many decades. Beliefs and cultures changed over the centuries, so do building structures. Thus concepts have to be updated to be in line with the present social and architectural context.

Alvin Chua

Anonymous said...

All of them mention about facing, but how come never say anyting clear on whether to stand at center of house or unit apartment, face the 'facing' side and take reading or stand near the facing side/wall at the middle and take reading?

cos both have different readings. i guess since if landed hse take from outside, for unit apartment since cant take from outside, stand towards near the facing side and in the middle of the entire wall length, face it and take reading instead of standing in center of unit.

i wonder if hypothesis is right

Alvin Chua said...


I think you have touched on another controversial issue in the practice of Feng Shui. Where do I take the measurement of the facing? Maybe I show you some examples when I'm not so busy and I will post it in my blog within these few days. Thanks.

Anonymous said...

Thks! im not too confident of my hypothesis though, cos accuracy of degree is very impt..else different chart reading..

after some pondering again today, and with taking my stance that facing is where yang side is most active, taking external factors into considerations, and remembering qi rides with wind, qi influence upon impact the facing side,

if i myself is taking a feng shui audit of 'myself' qi or 'wind' impact me on my facing, so taking the reading from the 'surface' where it impacts is 'meaningful' or logical than say, taking from my back surface. imagine if body is very very thin like paper, taking the front or back surface will likely not be a question people will ask. in that case, taking the reading from the middle of the surface or more on left or right will be the issue or question.

and since the house or apartment unit is akin to person (not expressing well here, but i somehow treat house as a person, since fengshui or non fengshui also touch on harmony, energy etc etc), taking reading from the facing surface is my stance (for now, till i can get someone to discuss on this or to enlighten me).

As for whether take middle of surface e.g.


B is the middle, which most either say is middle or say take from A, B and C and take average which i disagree since this makes reading inaccurate. ( i think this method as a catch all stance). while i take from B -middle for now, i feel what if there are cases where in a house, the wind direction most often or seems to come from a slanted direction? perhaps i think too much on

hope to hear from u!


The One that never retreat from a fight said...

You are not a person with integrity. You are stubborn and like to give wrong info to the public. Your bad karma will go after you when you later in life. You know why your family suffers and face problems? Ask you for a no holds barred you shrink like a mouse. The last time I'm gonna repeat if you don't believe please call francis up to verify. He measure from the door but that doesn't determine the facing. Stupid ass! I think you are even chicken to post this message like how you deleted the last few post.

Alvin Chua said...

To: The One that never retreat from a fight

Hi. I do not believe I had any exchange with you before thus I do not understand why your hostility. In the Feng Shui world, we make friends and share information. We do not make enemies. I have not learned from Francis before thus what is written is based on deduction. I am doing research on this thus I try to understand what methods others use. Please do enlighten me if I have made a mistake in my assumption. By the way, which "last few post" are you referring to since I don't recall deleting any recently. Could it be a mistaken identity? I also do not remember anyone asking me for a "for a no holds barred"...

Alvin Chua

Anonymous said...

I have been practicing FS but on my own way. at first only the easy Ba Gua , 8 aspirations and now the Flying stars ,,but since i moved in to our new unit at 13th floor ..i am now interested in Facing and sitting and yet until now have not settled which to follow ... the main door of the unit or the windows that allow more sunlight. anyway I like the blog and hope to read more from you. and yes how where to start the compass reading? so keep researching and so we ignorant can get more info.