“La Stanza dello Scirocco (Sirocco’s Room) is a range of items – an asymmetric centrepiece and others - born out of the abstract atmosphere of a magic place: a large room in a Sicilian country home where one is forced to seek shelter from the sultriness while waiting for the sirocco to die down. It’s a room with no windows in which you can do nothing but ponder the wind that is undoing all sublunary things outside.”
That’s how the Sicilian-born Italian designer Mario Trimarchi described La Stanza dello Scirocco, the centerpieces he designed for Alessi, the renowed design factory, in 2009. He was thinking of his motherland when he imagined the setting: he was inspired by a type of room you go to when the hot and impetuous wind rushes from Africa, bringing desert sand storms and accelerating fires. That room is a sort of abstract place: locked up and perhpas a little claustrophobic, the only way to escape from the wind.
I wanted to stop paper frames in flight and shadows in light movement...
The shapes created by Trimarchi derive from the composition of a rectangular module in stainless steel, and the upshot is a collection of geometrically irregular items made up of small splinters of various sizes, interlaced in a balance. The original five item set - a centrepiece, a small basket, a tealight holder, a fruit bowl and a citrus basket - won the Good Design Award in 2010 to which were added a cachepot, a tray and a lamp after few months. Through the geometric piercing of the interstices between the laser-cut steel sheets, the light creates a magical effect of lights and shadows, perfectly recreated with the trembling ﬂame of a tealight in the tealight holder.
“I designed a great deal for the Sirocco room, endeavouring to stop paper frames in flight and shadows in light movement”, commented the Italian designer. “So I came up with the idea that La Stanza dello Scirocco could be recounted through the story of drawings done by hand and through images of shadows and that we could then ask everyone to exert themselves ever so slightly and give a small input of their own imagination.”