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P.M. BRIEFING : Beijing Bank Open in Hong Kong

From Times Wire Services

The Beijing-owned Bank of China opened for business in Hong Kong today in a 70-story prism-shaped skyscraper that dominates the city’s skyline and has sparked superstitious worries among residents.

The 12,890-foot-tall skyscraper was designed by Chinese-American architect I. M. Pei and is the tallest building in the British colony, which is due to be handed back to the communist mainland in 1997.

But the building’s four right-angled triangular prisms, placed together to form a long, thin square column topped by twin antennas, have been condemned by many of the territory’s superstitious residents.

Scholars of fung shui-- the study of wind and water--say the building’s prism design is a sure sign of bad luck.

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The sharp edges on the interlocking triangles that make up the sides of the building are said to be like daggers and the twin antennas that top the tower like empty chopsticks.


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