Memphis inspires maximalist exhibition space in Hangzhou
PIG Design creates a fun, Memphis Group-inspired experience in this new private exhibition space in Hangzhou, China
Chinese architecture studio PIG Design has created a prismatic exhibition space in the city of Hangzhou, dedicated to the Memphis Group. Titled ‘Ya Space!’, the private gallery draws on references to the celebrated design group of the 1980s, even through its name – ‘Ya’ means ‘cliff’ in Chinese, and ‘cliff city’ is the Chinese knickname for the US city of Memphis.
PIG founder Li Wenqiang led the design, which echoes the Memphis ethos of ‘unrestricted creative exploration’. Following this approach, the space, specialising in showing Memphis Group furniture, adopts unusual forms, both inside and out, bright colours and ‘a design style liberated from minimalism and pragmatism’, explains Li.
The crystal fragment-like exterior is made of stainless steel panels, arranged in an angular formation. The idea was to make abstract reference a ‘cliff’, while attracting attention. Meanwhile, the entrance, an eye-catching circular hole cut out of the front façade on ground level, is further highlighted by a large graphic exclamation point on the round glass door.
The interior spans two floors. The ground level is a composition of large-scale volumes in various geometric shapes, intended as a fun, experiential destination and an invitation for the visitor to explore. Bespoke light boxes, hanging from the ceiling, add to the dramatic and theatrical experience.
Orientating vistas within this playful internal landscape was important for Li. ‘Every structure is a visual point, and a geometrically cut view frame,’ he explains. The upper floor is a large, flexible exhibition area, hosting a selection of the gallery’s Memphis furniture for sale. §