The Ark in Hammersmith, London – unoccupied for more than a decade – example of poor feng shui.

On 19/02/2010, in Blog, Features, by Michael Oon

Business Case Study of The Ark in Hammersmith. It has been vacant for about a decade; why? example of poor feng shui. Surely, this is an example of wasted resources in developing a building and it is not used for its function?


The Ark in Hammersmith is a landmark building by the flyover (A4). It is conspicuously unoccupied.

The building was designed by Ralph Erskine and completed in 1992. It was designed with a number of ecological features – energy conservation systems which were then, way ahead of its time. It has struggled to find tenants. The then only tenant – Seagrams was taken over in 2000 and the building remained unoccupied for about a decade. In 2007, it had a £20 million refurbishment and there is now at least one tenant on the 9th floor.

The Ark occupies a very small site, between the Hammersmith flyover on one side and a railway cutting on the other. The design is very unique – oval in overall shape with the middle of the building protruding out, larger than the base. Also unique is the 370 sq ft “crows nest” which can be used for meetings by the tenants.

Location: Hammersmith has many good communication links to central London and Heathrow Airport. Also, this area has the offices of many multinationals (Disney, Coca Cola, Sony Ericsson, L’Oreal) amongst others.

The question is, why has the Ark been unoccupied for such a long time?


Feng Shui analysis.

It is quite complicated; three different levels and disconnected energy moving in different directions.

1. The Hammersmith Flyover – at this point, the energy rolls downhill; from the west to the east.

2. Talgarth Road – energy appears to be flowing from the east to the west.

3. Railway cuttings – down a steep embankment. Unable to determine the direction of energy at the lower railway level. However, energy at the road level will eventually leak down to the railway level.

The Ark has 2 entrances. The main one at the east and the service entrance in the west. The entrances are isolated from the flow of energy on the roads. Therefore, very little energy gets to the entrances.


This energy flow totally by-passes the entrances. Therefore, the energy does not get into the property. Understandably, as no energy is getting into the building, there is no “life” in the building; it therefore, does not attract new tenants.

It is the main tenet of Chinese Philosophy, “Energy brings life”. In feng shui, the energy in the environment brings life to the building. Therefore, a building with energy will prosper.
Conversely, a building without energy will not prosper.

It is the job of the Feng Shui consultant to identify the flows of the energy in the environment and then tap or “pipe” this energy into this building. The business in the building prospers.


Possible Remedies:
Have an opening by the side of the building adjacent to Talgarth Road so that it can tap the energy flow on the road. An entrance facing a flyover is another “can of worms” which is best to be avoided. The service entrance collects more energy than main entrance but, in my opinion, is insufficient to make good a building of this size.

Site Selection
It is extremely difficult to develop a large building in this location and achieve commercial success. In my opinion, a smaller building is preferred.

Sustainable buildings
There is the current trend to have buildings built to a “carbon” neutral standard to compensate for the climate warming changes. However, should a building be unoccupied or un-liveable because of the above reasons, surely, this is a huge waste of resources. In my opinion, to achieve success in a property development and also, minimise the effects of potential waste, a feng shui consultant should be called in the site selection for a new property development.

Some useful links:

Dr Michael Oon

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About Michael Oon

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2 Responses to The Ark in Hammersmith, London – unoccupied for more than a decade – example of poor feng shui.

  1. I've heard about Feng Shui with BP office in New York. And now about Hammersmith. I definitely need to learn this. It appears to be true.

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  2. Thanks. I congratulate you for this blog.
    I've really enjoyed. I sincerely thank you again.

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