Lauded Spanish designer Héctor Serrano has produced a stunning collection for La Mediterranea. The Natura range consists of a series of lamps and vases that all play on the contrast between glass and cork, a fitting approach for a project for La Mediterranea with its ongoing commitment to sustainable materials. La Mediterranea is known for its stunningly contemporary approach to working with the glassware traditions of the Mediterranean; a tradition that goes all the way back to the ancient Egyptians and the secrets of the craft carried by traders between the classical cultures of the Mediterranean rim. So, it’s perhaps only fitting that Héctor Serrano adds his collection, updating such traditions with the ability to remain eco-friendly now that we have become so dependent on artificial light.
Rather than using the strong bright colours with which La Mediterranea is often associated, Serrano has kept his primary palette to black, white and the various gradations of transparency in between, occasionally with a suggestion of dark rich colours. Combined with the minimalist volume of the forms chosen and the contrast with the tactile warmth of the cork, there is something about the collection that references classic European Modernism of the 1950’s and 1960’s about it all whilst never feeling like the designs are ‘vintage’ or ‘retro’. Standing vases and delicately suspended lamps become quiet and serene objects that have the ability to provide a contemplative aesthetic pleasure alongside their more prosaic functions.
Héctor Serrano and his London-based studio have produced designs for some of the world’s top contemporary design companies including Mooi, Droog and Metalarte amongst others. It’s perhaps also not too much of a label to say that he has become particularly well-known as an innovative lighting designer. For example, his Waterproof design for a floating lamp for Metalarte in the mid-noughties became something of an essential item for any design hotel’s swimming pool, transferring its traditional drawing room shape of the lamp to the surface of the water itself.