Downtown San Jose feng shui Q&A

BS. Surendran lives in India and is a master at creating harmonious spaces.  He is serving as an accredited feng shui consultant on Alterra International’s 24-story residential tower proposed at 27 S. First St.  SJDA caught up with Surendran by email in between his numerous international speaking engagements:


This project is in the middle of downtown San Jose’s Historic District. Does your consulting include the positioning of the tower itself?

The science is quite comprehensive and in some aspects holistic, too.  The art and science of feng shui takes into account the implication of the surroundings, afflictions if any, road traffic flow which relates to flow of energy (chi).  Hence the positioning of the super-structure on the piece of land, orientation of main entry (to tap into the energy/chi), and the shape and set back levels are all addressed.

From the exterior design element point of view, a comprehensive approach takes into consideration the facade, color, corrections if any for afflictions due to adjacent structures, landscaping and appropriate colors for plants and flowers, parking space and entry/exit design, all keeping in mind proper flow of energy.

In ancient times, the prosperity of any township was based on the flora, fauna, land elevation, slopes and flow of water.  It was said the flow of water was ushering in prosperity as the direction of flow of water helped the township to prosper with good irrigation, health and business.  Akin to this, the flow of traffic in the modern times is similar to flow of water – hence the direction of the road traffic and how it approaches the property play a major role in aiding the prosperity of the specific building.

Hence this property will cover most of the aspects of the metaphysical sciences.


Is it possible for all of the project’s 324 units to be equal positive energy flow, or are some units more energy positive than others?

The approach to the adaptation of vaastu, feng shui and bio energetics is to ensure a complete balanced flow of energy (chi) in and around the property.  The energy balancing starts from the land levels, land slopes, bio energetic correction, pyramid science, etc.  The approach would be to primarily harmonize the land and the ground level and consequently the entire building.  The impact of the corrections would be such that the entire building and the immediate environment would benefit with positivity. The intention is to balance the flow for it to be beneficial to all the occupants, too.


Would you apply more feng shui than vaastu or geo-magnetic measurements to the building, or do all these disciplines co-exist with each project?

The approach is holistic and will cover Indian vaastu, feng shui and bio-energetics.  I have specialized in each of the metaphysical sciences, hence I adapt them judiciously and integrate the sciences with a right balance.  My approach would be to adapt the three sciences to create a perfect harmony and harmonize the land and building.  Hence it would be a proper balance of all the three sciences depending upon the area of application and criticality.


Have you worked on any other buildings in the Bay Area?

In California, I had the privilege to do a few residential homes earlier and a condo, but it was not a comprehensive project and more of a correction of existing land.  One interesting work was adapting the metaphysics in an existing renowned Classical India Dance studio space called PAMPA.  The dance studio owned by internationally renowned Indian dancer Mrs. Nirmala Madhava is one of the oldest training centers in the San Jose area.


How did you get recommended for this particular project?

I have been associated with the developers for years and done some of their iconic projects like the 211 North Ervay and 500 S. Ervay in Dallas, and few other places (in process) and they have great trust and faith in me and my work.  Hence, they always take my views before moving ahead. Their implicit faith in me motivates me to bring out the best.  Hence, they get 100 percent of my knowledge, time and energy.


Did you have any general impressions of the positivity of downtown San Jose?

The street is wide and suits the feng shui for a large building, however the space (Surendran saw it before Local Color occupied it) lacks energy and this will change soon as the project progresses.  The downtown street is not negative but lacks energy and vibrancy, however, with new developments looking up, it’s going to be game-changing.

Editor:  For more, visit Surendran’s website at