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Feng Shui And The Fine Art of Balance

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Story by Sue Dritmanis

When we moved into our Brian Jessel BMW 66,000-square-foot facility at the corner of Lougheed and Boundary, I was ecstatic! It is the perfect location; it is easily accessible from any where in the Lower Mainland, and large enough to satisfy all of our customers’ needs. Most importantly, I feel that it satisfies many of the Feng Shui fine points. Feng Shui, pronounced “fung shway” and literally meaning “wind and waters,” could be described as the Chinese art of placement, and it’s based on the idea that everything is made up of energy.

What is very vital to me is my workspace, and ensuring that there is chi energy within. The balance of chi in your office brings good fortune. Knowing how to ensure a good balance of chi is a very big part of creating good feng shui. We can train ourselves to notice when the energy in our office seems to be flowing freely and when it feels blocked. For example, the lucky position for this year is to sit in the north side of your office, facing south, or sit in the south side of your office and face north. This will increase the flow of positive chi and subdue the negative flow. Also, in my office I have natural crystals. Crystals are among the most important energy conductors used in Feng Shui. If communication is an important part of your work, and for most of us it is, consider crystals such as blue lace agate, blue topaz or turquoise.

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In addition, crystals fill an office with positive energy. They add light and colour and they can be used to deflect negative energies. Lastly, water is a cure-all for chi problems. Adding a water feature to your office, especially one with running water, will symbolize wealth and abundance flowing towards you (make sure the water actually flows toward you and not away). Running water also makes a pleasant, soothing sound that can enhance the chi in your environment. From my experience I have found that by harmonizing your personal chi with the chi in the environment, we find harmony with the natural world. I invite you to visit me in my office any time to see how I designed the layout of my workspace to ensure a good balance of chi. 

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cell phone transmitters, remain standing. So the designers cleverly screened the equipment using fibreglass panels and added a BMW logo—“a great opportunity for some signage,” Reid explains. Back at ground level, taking advantage of existing grading, the sales offices were centrally positioned a few steps up from the main floor, affording staffers a full view of the showroom. With 66,000 square feet to work with and strict BMW dealership design codes to follow—not to mention the last-minute addition of a separate M Car Salon Omniplan and MCMP mapped out the remaining elements.

Twenty-one service bays were berthed in a spotless facility at the rear of the building, complete with a viewing area for waiting owners. An enclosed and heated service reception drive-thru was added, with room for eight vehicles. And completing the “client-first” approach, the dealership also incorporated a full-service café, a BMW lifestyle boutique, a wireless enabled business lounge and a sparkling new car delivery area. “It’s very subtle. It’s very customer-oriented. And there’s always something of interest to look at,” Brian Jessel says. “It’s a retail experience that fits the polish, sophistication and design esthetic of BMW.”

Which is not to say that Jessel himself didn’t insist on a number of design features in keeping with his own esthetic. Among them, that his service technicians use the same tool boxes to achieve a consistent look in their clean, high-tech workplace. He fought for and won the right to use red tile in the drive-thru service reception area. And he requested two offices on site, a highly visible, centre-of-the-action spot overlooking the showroom plus a second executive office upstairs.

No need to guess which one he rarely uses. Thanks to imaginative, form-meets-function design, both Yaletown’s Opus Hotel and Brian Jessel BMW are destined to leave their marks on Vancouver’s urban architectural scene.

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