|Creating Optimal Healing Through the Art of Feng Shui|
OCOM’s new Old Town Chinatown campus and clinic was designed with the most innovative and sustainably-minded thinking from both Western and Eastern viewpoints. The remodel of the 100-year old building will not only be certified a LEED Gold project once completed, it was also designed and built according to the principles of the Chinese art of feng shui.
Feng shui is based on the teachings of Daoism, founded by Chinese philosopher Lao-tzu in the sixth century B.C.. It is an increasingly familiar interior design concept in the West, and is commonly used in China to site buildings and design spaces to maximize the potential for success. Like Traditional Chinese Medicine, feng shui is based on the principles of yin-yang theory and focuses on the harmonious balance of the five universal elements – water, earth, metal, fire and wood. Feng shui “treats” the built environment through the use of things like strategically placed mirrors, greenery, crystals and color, while TCM focuses on bringing balance to the human body through acupuncture and herbs. These principles, whether applied to building or individual, seek the same result: the creation of prosperity, health and success.
OCOM worked with internationally recognized feng shui master Alex Stark, to ensure the new campus would be harmonized both externally and internally. Stark is a leading expert in feng shui analysis, with offices in San Francisco, New York and London. His analysis of our downtown building concluded that it was very well suited to learning and healing, and that we could increase that potential through specific feng shui adjustments.
Externally, it was essential that the campus and building entrance be aligned and in balance with the physical elements that surround it, including the Willamette River, bridges, roads, nearby buildings and greenways. Internally, each floor of the building was designed to ensure ultimate balance and energy flow throughout. The balance between interior and exterior aspects resulted in multiple adjustments: moving the front door of the building from the west side to the south side, the creation of a large six-panel skylight on the fifth floor addition to make the most of natural light and energy flow throughout the building, the creation of a rounded clinic entryway to encourage open energy exchanges, and more.
As part of the feng shui adjustments, Stark led OCOM in a blessing ceremony last June as construction was just beginning. Trustees, staff and students participated in the ceremony, in which a bundle of elements honoring the area and history of the building and acknowledging the vision of the building moving forward was created, then buried, in the center of the building’s ground floor.
Recently, Stark shared an hour-long presentation with the OCOM community on his analysis of the building and the ensuing adjustments. Download the presentation.