Distinct from the criteria considered standard for a single family dwelling, understanding the unique traits of apartments and condominiums is important in a proper evaluation. In this article about Apartments and Condos, I will cover some important topics specific to these dwellings which exist within larger structures.
Establishing Orientation: The Facing Side Being the View Side m No matter which branch of Traditional Feng Shui you may be learning or studying, it is important to establish the correct orientation of the apartment or condo. This gives way to a lot of insight about the personality of the space and it is the beginning information needed to do any of the calculations related to direction. In the same way that an astrologer needs to know where you were born, a Feng Shui analysis requires that the orientation be defined.
In the olden days, personal dwellings were much more simple and straight forward. The house almost always faced the road it was situated on. But in modern life and architecture, the entrance as an indicator of orientation may come way down the list in terms of the clues which reveal the facing side of the apartment.
Tip: What takes precedence over the entrance in determining orientation is the views. And even if an apartment does not have an expansive view, there might easily be only one view from one side of the apartment, and that is the facing side 99% of the time. The windows, like eyes, will look outward and that is more relevant in determining the facing side than the entrance door. The balcony or patio side of an apartment usually brings in more light too.
If you are studying Feng Shui in an actual school, there will be discussions or instruction regarding a section of learning called Yin-Yang Theory. I have also written about this in all my books. Yin-Yang Theory helps establish which features indicate the facing side of a home, be it a house or apartment. And the side that is lighter, with more views or the only views, can be considered the facing/yang side.
Often, an apartment building or condominium complex will have units on each of the four exterior sides, facing outward, with balconies or patios along all the exterior walls.
Tip: So, within one building there could easily be four different orientation possibilities for all the units, each affording their own view.
Once the facing side has been determined, you will also want to conclude what the real direction is. Which of the eight basic directions does it face? The eight basic directions are North, South, East, West, Northeast, Northwest, Southeast, and Southwest.And which of the twenty-four sectors does it face? There are actually 24 different orientation possibilities because each of the eight basic directions can be sub-divided into three smaller 15-degree increments.
In fact, it is only the New Age version (The Black Hat School) which disregards actual compass directions. This is a shame because some people have only been exposed to this version of Feng Shui and they do not even know what they are missing. As well, once you determine the facing side, the opposite side is called the Sitting side.
Tip: It is the back, the Sitting side, which also establishes the real identity of the space. If you proceed to learn more Feng Shui, it is the sitting side which is referred to as the beginning point of understanding the house type. For example, an apartment that faces east will “sit” west and it then gets referred to as a “west” house. In the Pa Chai School, we learn that people are either east type or west type based on their birth data.
A west type person will do better in a west type apartment than an east type person. And an east type person will do better in an east type house than a west type person. Of course, in many living arrangements, we have people from both the east and west groups, so no one house type can cater to everyone. But there are other ways in which we can tailor a home to the occupant, such as with entrances, sleeping directions, and home office set-ups.