The factory and the office buildings had more or less been placed on the site. Then, one of the owners decided that he should have a friend of his, who is a Feng Shui expert, take a look at the site to give us the perspective of Asian cultural history.
We drove to the site to meet this man. He stepped out of the car, holding a Feng Shui compass and imediatly began to give his assessment on the where the most ideal place to put the buildings is.
He was dressed in traditional garb, and was the only person I have seen here that had the long, pointed, graying beard.
While he only spoke Korean, thus I did not hear this from the horses mouth, but rather from a rough, and I'm sure generalized translation. But basically, he says the office must face either east or south ( he assumes all buildings have a single directionality). The Factory should be on the other side of the site. There should be two entrances on the north side, one for the factory, one for the office.
Later when I asked why this was, I got a half hearted, and very generic answer basically say that there are certain rules in feng shui that have been followed for thousands of years, and that it has to do with aligning with the positive energy of the earth, and turning from the bad.
Initially, skepticism was full on. Im not down with designing around arbitrary superstition and rules that have the pseudo-scientfic feel of astroglogy. The owners of course where completely down with designing around such.
But, trying to be culturally considerate, I calmed down a bit and realized that most of my decisions up till that point had fallen in line with those rules, except the buildings needed to be mirrored. While mirroring everything is obviously a big deal, it was not nearly as drastic as I anticipated. While doing this would thrown off some things with the layout, it actually solved some of the problems I was having. So, only a partitial step back.
Also, I have decided that I am down with aligning with the earths energy, weather you call in fung shui or not. and being culturally conscience is also a good thing I suppose. ( even though pretty much none of the contemporary buildings here are.)