Since its construction in 1982, Paul Rudolph's Dharmala headquarters located in Jakarta, Indonesia has been considered one of the best examples of "green" architecture in the city. In fact, the government cites this building as an example of how other buildings should be designed in order to conserve the local environment according to an article in the Jakarta Globe.
The building, previously known as the Wisma Dharmala Sakti, is now called the Intiland Tower, after the Dharmala Corporation changed its name to PT Dharmala Intiland.
As reported in IndonesiaDesign, the building bears the slogan "Health of the Future," a catchphrase that was conceived by Paul Rudolph to represent a building that cares for the physical as well as the mental health of its occupants.
During the design of the building Rudolph was quoted as saying,
"Traditional Indonesian architecture offers a wide variety of solutions to the problems of a hot and humid climate. The unifying element in this rich diversity is the roof."The building plan itself is roughly the shape of a square, rotated around itself to create alternating floors of projected balconies and terraces. Not allowed to use exposed concrete by local building codes, the tower is instead completely covered in bright white ceramic tile. The resulting form was so striking that the Dharmala Corporation uses it as a symbol of its company.
While the occupants of the Dharmala building celebrate Rudolph's combination of traditional architecture within the design of a modern building, the owners of neighboring buildings do not see themselves as so fortunate. As reported in the Jakarta Post, owners of the Sampoerna Towers facing Wisma Dharmala on the busy Sudirman business strip believe the design of the building is bringing them bad Feng Shui.
As described on Wikipedia,
The goal of feng shui as practiced today is to situate the human built environment on spots with good qi. The "perfect spot" is a location and an axis in time.Feng shui makes calculations involving geography, compass points, design and birth to predict where to place certain elements in order to create harmony among the environment, the house, the owner and the living creatures surrounding them.
Qi (roughly pronounced as the sound 'chi' in English) is a movable positive or negative life force which plays an essential role in feng shui. A traditional explanation of qi as it relates to feng shui would include the orientation of a structure, its age, and its interaction with the surrounding environment including the local microclimates, the slope of the land, vegetation, and soil quality.
According to the Jarkata Post article,
In Feng shui, a sharp corner is considered "Shar", which means killer or disharmony. People surrounded by large amounts of Shar are likely to become embroiled in conflicts. Their mental and physical well-being can be affected.Feng Shui experts are installing 20 round mirrors on the facades and building a garden after having spent nights on the building's roofs to test the flow of energy believed to be emanating from the Rudolph-designed structure.
In the case of the Sampoerna Towers, known previously as Danamon towers, the sharp angles of the white high-rise designed by American architect Paul Rudolph, which stands in front of it, is said to be bad for business.
A rumor in the business world says the towers are losing tenants because of the negative energy.
Pei Cobb Freed, the architect of Sampoerna Towers, is not thought to have considered Feng Shui when designing them. Mr. Pei is considered to be a non-believer of Feng Shui, and his design for Hong Kong's Bank of China caused a neighbor to install a pair of metal rods to deflect negative energy.