Yiwu, China – A commercial city in China’s Zhejiang province, Yiwu is home to 1.2 million inhabitants. Represented in that population are a great number of Arabs and Hui people, a Chinese ethnic group which largely practices Islam. To better serve this community with diverse selections of clothing and ornamentation, retailer Jiamila Fashion has opened the doors of a 430-m2 flagship at Yiwu’s central Wanda Plaza, designed by architecture firm PMT Partners.
One of the client’s foremost priorities was to ensure that the space would have a relationship to Muslim culture and local features, explains a spokesperson for PMT Partners. The architects referred to the words of long-time Baumeister editor-in-chief Paulhans Peters as they worked on the project: ‘Alienation does not mean imitation or adherence of a certain style,’ wrote Peters in an article entitled Analogous Architecture: Radical Proposal for a Poetic Architecture. ‘It is more of an improvisation. Even though it is implicitly expressed, the eternal quintessence in the classical can still be universally perceived.’