Modern Design And Feng Shui Can Co-Exist Harmoniously
Home & Decor Malaysia|April 2019

Grand and unapologetically opulent, this intricately-designed home proves that modern design and Feng Shui can co-exist harmoniously.

Feng Shui and modernist architecture have always had something of an uneasy relationship; the sharp points and reflective glass surfaces of modernist architecture are anathema to traditional Chinese geomancy’s favoured practices. Indeed, one of the most famous Feng Shui showdowns happened between two architecture giants in Hong Kong during the gestation of IM Pei’s Bank of China and Lord Norman Foster’s HSBC Building. The architectural integrity of both buildings ended up being preserved, but not before the necessary Feng Shui amendments were properly made.

On a much smaller scale and closer to our shores, architect Melvyn Kanny of MJ Kanny Architect was not daunted when his client informed him that his most pressing request was to ensure his home was completely Feng Shui compliant. In fact, Kanny was more concerned by the fact that the neighbouring building had received architectural accolades. “We had just completed a house in Seputeh Heights when my future client purchased a piece of land nearby with the intention of building a house. I guess he liked what he saw, because he got in touch to ask me if I would be interested in designing his house. His piece of land had a unique shape in the form of a quadrant on a sloped gradient, and had great potential for an interesting house. To top that, it was opposite an award-winning house, which meant that the bar was high - exactly the kind of challenge we relish!” Kanny enthuses.

As the family is quite religious, the client had expressed a preference for an eastern feel with the altar as the main focus of the house. That, along with the unique shape of the land, led to Kanny’s idea of building the house based on the form of an oriental fan with the roof spread out, and all the interior spaces organised beneath it. The timber ceiling was also designed like the slats of a wooden handheld fan when it was fully opened up. To further reinforce the eastern feel, the main altar at the entrance was designed as an intricate Chinese jewellery box with a twostorey high atrium lobby framed by an intricate teak wood trellis and glass.

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