How feng shui shaped Hong Kong’s skyline

How feng shui shaped Hong Kong’s skyline

Hong Kong’s superstitious skyline.
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Hong Kong’s famous skyline is known for its colorful lights and modern buildings, but a closer look reveals some unique designs inspired by feng shui. Like the gaping holes in the middle of buildings to let dragons fly through or cannon-like structures installed to deflect bad “qi” (pronounced chi).

The main belief in feng shui is that destiny is bound to the environment, so good fortune and harmony can be invited in and bad energy can be warded off by arranging objects and buildings around us. It’s an ancient Chinese practice that has come to define Hong Kong’s skyline.

In this episode of Borders, we explore feng shui principles, explain the circumstances that allowed it to flourish in Hong Kong and take a look at the unique designs around the city.

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84 Responses

  1. Oliver the Joyboy says:

    When you started talking about dragons, I thought you were joking. This was fascinating

  2. DeepSpace12 says:

    Dragon gates? lol nope. There are legal restrictions to the amount of floor area a developer can build on a parcel of land. But apartments higher up have better views, and sell better! So what do they do? Put a hole in the building so more apartments can be constructed higher up!

  3. Sergio Buryy says:

    Because if someone who wants 77 virgins tries to fly a plane into them they’ll go right through and miss 😀

    • MIDKNIGHT FENERIR says:

      Kirk Moore Yep The Intensity And Destruction Of Terrorist Attacks are Rising Which Means more Followers Of the Religion Of Peace is getting into there family and Religious business. These Shemales I mean Virgins are like payments to the Terrorists. So every time you do a Massive amount destruction the more shemales I mean virgins you get from Aloha FuckBar. You see It’s a Simple and efficient system devised By Aloha FuckBar.

    • Mr Helpful says:

      @MIDKNIGHT FENERIR Oh u simpleton…. I hope u die in a hole… 🙂

    • Rob C says:

      The Muslims only hate White people, actually everyone not White hates White people.

    • Dillon Coto says:

      MIDKNIGHT FENERIR bro you sure that’s canon lore?

  4. 최명수 says:

    *LOLWUT*

  5. Aditya says:

    Minecraft players can understand this

  6. Ho Lam Cheng says:

    This explanation is amusing but not very accurate. I work in an engineering consultant in Hong Kong. For skyscraper projects like these (residential or commercial), there’re a whole lot of requirements in design for architects and engineers to follow.
    E.g. a vacant, unoccupied level has to be inserted in the middle of the building for the sake of fire insulation as stated in the buildings ordinance (this explains why there’s a gap floor in some skyscrapers);
    the ratio of “green roof top garden area” for the public to sellable floor area has to meet a certain value as stated on the land lease (this is why there’s a hole for greens in some skyscrapers);
    For buildings above certain heights or density, the design has to be adjusted to ensure ventilation/air circulation in the city is not disrupted, so as to prevent heat island effect (a good way to do this is to leave a “hole” in the buidling)
    The explanation about Fengshui is not entirely wrong, but its much more complicated than that, huh

    • HallowedManhattan says:

      Following your logic, why aren’t skyscrapers in every country designed with holes? 🙂

    • Jabin Chen says:

      HallowedManhattan Hong Kong is insanely hot and humid almost all year round. It’s not comparable at all to the US or any other European countries. As a result the architecture in HK is purposely adapted to suit its climate.

    • Nathan Chaytor says:

      Ya I thought it was kinda weird, his talk of luck and stuff just seems like a poor translation… obviously missing a lot of info and not taking into account everything you said.

    • Generic User says:

      I don’t know, considering myths are based on natural events, I don’t think air ventilation and Feng Shui are unrelated. “Letting the energy flow” sounds like a religious interpretation of “letting the air flow so we don’t suffocate from the heat” to me.

    • Johnny Harris (Vox) says:

      Ho Lam Cheng The people who built the building I point to tell me that the hole was “designed to satisfy feng shui purposes” https://www.hiphing.com.hk/en/projects/details.php?id=76
      Im aware there a lot more to it. But are you saying feng shui has no influence on building holes?

  7. K S says:

    Are yall stupid? It’s for better air flow 😑

    • PrimiusLovin says:

      Precisely, better airflow for the dragons to go from the mountains to the water… everyone knows that!!

    • Code Name says:

      Are you questioning the intelligence of a group by leading with a misspelled version of a southern slang contraction? Also it’s for air flow, To respect tradition because even if the builder isn’t superstitious it’s likely that at least some f the buyers are, and in a market like Hong Kong you lose money if you have empty properties, if you sell places with large balconies or Mountain View’s for more those holes add to your total number of higher priced spaces… there are a lot of reasons and the most interesting is the Feng Shui one. Calm down.

    • Arcane Wisdom TV says:

      K S they’re not bullet holes, they’re speed holes.

    • Ryan says:

      K S pretty sure its for the dragons dude.

    • E'Osiris says:

      Yeah! Better air flow for when the buildings take off at 100 mph and need more down force

  8. Quick Fix says:

    This is the most amazing show I’ve ever seen on the internet. Thank you, guys.
    It’s interesting, it’s insightful and it’s pleasant to watch!
    Vox borders and Vox climate lab are real sources of inspirations for us!

    • Niccolo L says:

      Feng shui isn’t even the big purpose of why the holes were built inside some towers. They were built to help improve air ventilation since Hong Kong is a big urban city with a lot of vehicles. Vox just wanted to add this “feng shui” nonsense (even though it is a small reason for the holes) to this video to make it seem “interesting”, make Vox seem like they’re smarter and gain more views on this video.

  9. Coolmark says:

    I love this, keep it up!

  10. legitmontrellthigpen says:

    Idk if you mean to, but it sounds like you when to China to just mock everything in an informative way like Chinese culture is just dumb and has pointless superstition

    • kevin lavin says:

      It was made to prevent a 9/11 in china

    • Vrael says:

      legitmontrellthigpen You’re reading too much into this. He was just talking like he does usually.

    • Joseph G says:

      Hai Han BS

    • dranelemakol says:

      I mean it is exactly that. Why would it deserve anything else?

    • flish0 says:

      forreal, he treats feng shui like it’s “just some dumb superstition”. doesn’t talk about the role of luck/fortune in chinese culture, doesn’t talk about the rules and systems governing good and bad feng shui, no history of feng shui. it’s only barely educational, and more “whoa look at this weird thing that chinese people believe/do!!”

  11. Hazman Rostam says:

    I thought singapore did it too?

  12. foreveryoung52 says:

    I’m from HK and was always told the holes were for better ventilation and to let light come through, since in older parts of HK where the buildings are close together and don’t have holes, the air was really stagnant and the bottom floors were super dark. The feng shui thing is cool though!

  13. Legendary Broly Boi says:

    Well, these dragons are nothin but *_Deadly Flying Danger Noodles_*
    Just tell them that they’re *Gud Boi Sneks* and _BOOM,_ problem solved!

  14. Can we get 5000 subscribers with no videos? says:

    or these uh ‘dragons’ that totally exist could…. hmm i don’t know maybe fly around or over them?

    • poo teen says:

      Mere humans adjust around mighty dragons, not the other way around.

    • Mr Helpful says:

      Your intelligence even rivals that of the great Stephen Hawking. Now then, here’s your nobel prize….

    • Netheryk says:

      They are lazy so they just give out bad luck for a couple thousands of years until people get the memo and start building in a way that they don’t block the dragons’ favourite routes to the beach.

    • AnarchistAlpaca says:

      Just let those dumbass dragons fly into the buildings. Natural selection baby

  15. arnav raj says:

    Now, I know from where these shits came to INDIA….

  16. Doc M says:

    If God exist so does dragons. Deal with it

  17. Beary Boy says:

    Guess why Hong Kong’s economy is pretty good

  18. Hybrid Trap says:

    this is awesome! =)

  19. Hybrid Trap says:

    your shirt looks like an LED screen at 4:00 👀

  20. Yes Theory says:

    This series is so freaking good

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