Dear Uncle Dixer: What’s your opinion about the effects of living in a high rise condo that has a huge ventilation shaft in the middle? About how important is the design feature of a condo in relation to the landscape of the area and the specific apartment’s Flying Stars?

I wish I could send a picture of it so it is clearer. But to give some context, it looks like the air shaft is a hole (might be as big as one entire apartment in terms of square footage but the hole has the height of the entire building) that goes from the ground level to the rooftop of the highest floor, opening up to the sky. If observing a satellite imagine of the top of the building, the roof looks like it is has a hole/tunnel in the middle, which is the ventilation shaft.

I heard some people say that condos that have open areas like that inside of the building could weaken the inhabitants’ energy. That’s because the Qi coming from the sky wouldn’t be contained inside a condo that has a ventilation shaft this big that opens to the sky. Also, there would be less influence of 8 mansions due to the center being “empty” and there would be less “heart” in the building (considering an analogy to the human body).

I’m wondering if there would be any clue to verify these interpretations. I’d like to know if the ventilation shaft is weakening people’s energy or not when visiting the place, or if it would be the kind of thing only noticeable when someone actually lives there.

I was then reminded that Chinese old houses have central courtyards that are open areas in the center of the land. But then, I don’t know if this situation is comparable to having an open area inside a condo.

I’m thinking that the central courtyard in the old Chinese houses might distribute the chi to its surroundings. It is accessible to the people who live there. The whole design of this type of Chinese house seems to take into account certain Feng Shui principles. However, high rise buildings are much higher than a regular house, so perhaps the energy would come differently into an open area inside a building (maybe swirling or travelling more quickly, I don’t know).

The air shaft in modern high rise condos is not accessible to the building’s inhabitants (air shaft is only visible from the inside of the apartments, if the bathroom windows are open). This particular condo has four entrances and two sectors with two entrances each. So if considering the building in terms of its two sectors, the air shaft would be cut in half (Only metaphorically speaking. When looking from the top of the building, there is no division in terms of sectors.). But then, I don’t know if this reasoning would make the ventilation shaft be less of a nuisance than if considering the building as a whole when analyzing its Feng Shui. Thank you!

Answer: The central courtyard in a traditional Chinese courtyard house is used to catch the warm sun and to provide natural ventilation to all the rooms without losing privacy. The vertical ventilation shaft in a modern high-rise is a different matter. It is used to ventilate a building mechanically, creating large suctions in and out of the shaft. Thus, it needs to be isolated from the condo apartments.

As long as the air shaft is not accessible to the inhabitants, the Qi of the occupants will not be weakened, and it will not destroy the Feng Shui of the building.