RIBA Shanghai Windows 2015

Location Xintiandi, Shanghai

Status On site


Squire and Partners was one of ten UK architecture practices selected by the RIBA to design a temporary installation for the Shanghai Windows 2015 design festival in the city’s Xintiandi district.


The installation stems from a collaboration with innovative French fashion multi-brand Maria Luisa.  The concept is based around a series of striking abstracted mannequins occupying the pedestrian lane outside the store, blurring the lines between retail and public space.


Three bespoke, locally hand-carved marble figures, each adorned with a crafted glass headpiece, have been positioned in the space outside the store.  The distorted form of the sculptures has been inspired by the artistic process of creation and decay, and represent both the timeless beauty of art and the changing nature of fashion. The figures, which appear rising up from a solid marble base, strike identical poses facing the same direction – a nod to the Terracotta Warriors buried with Qin Shi Huang, the First Emperor of China, to protect him in the afterlife – and are dressed in a simple garment.


The highly crafted glass headpieces are seen as couture pieces which can be changed over time, with the first iteration alluding to the Chinese Year of the Ram with delicately sculpted curling horns.


Client RIBA / Maria Luisa

Glass headpiece fabricator Lasvit

Marble statue manuafacturer Jia Xing Mosaic