Ya Space by Pig Design

Pig Design Offers a Play on Words for the Facade of Ya Space in Hangzhou, China

2021 Best of Year winner for International Facade

In the design world, the 1980s are perhaps best remembered for their definitive rejection of modernism’s austerity in favor of excess. In Milan, a group of mostly European designers led by Italian architect Ettore Sottsass took a deep dive into experimentation with postmodernism. They eventually resurfaced as the Memphis Group. Though only officially together until 1987, the collective’s joyous output of furniture, lighting, textiles, and ceramics was marked by euclidean geometric forms juxtaposing fanciful patterns.

Fast forward four decades. The Italian company Memphis Milano continues to produce original designs today that are purchased by collectors worldwide. The reach has even extended to China, where the gallery-esque showroom Ya Space in Hangzhou is the official dealer of Memphis—and a total embodiment of the group’s aesthetic. The two-story project is by Pig Design, a local architecture studio cheekily named after founder and chief designer Wenqiang Li’s especially tubby cat. Ya Space has an equally playful derivation: The Chinese nickname of Memphis, Tennessee, is Cliff City, and cliff is pronounced like ya in Chinese. That theme carries over to a section of the structure’s facade, which is composed of corrugated stainless-steel triangles that make up three-dimensional tetrahedrons, pyramids, and other pointed shapes. Entry is through a yellow circular aperture. It’s an introduction to the unusual silhouettes that define the 4,800-square-foot showroom, both inside and out.

Pig Design
Pig Design
PIG Design: Wenqiang Li; Shijie Tan; Liang Cheng; Yiyun Zhu; Yunyun Chen; Ruonan Liu; Keke Wang