Sikelia by Alessandrelli Pazienza
Located in Pantelleria, Italy, this luxurious 20 suite resort was designed in 2017 by Alessandrelli Pazienza.
Description by Alessandrelli Pazienza
On the Sicilian island of Pantelleria, a prestigious resort with 20 suites, a restaurant and swimming pool is housed in old and newly-built dammusi, the traditional local architecture.
Featuring an interplay of complex, vaulted structures built upon thick masonry walls, the island’s traditional dammuso houses have Moorish origins. This project combines their idiosyncratic design with latest-generation technological systems solutions, so as to offer the utmost comfort without compromising on the historic atmosphere of these dwellings with their ancient, exotic roots.
Thus the designers’ formal research involved the entire site, at every level of intervention, from landscaping the gardens and exterior areas to interior design, as they sought to present a clear, bold image of the character of this place.
On the exterior, pale, soft, dusty colours are in keeping with the whitewash on the local roofs, and reflect the dazzling Mediterranean light; this allows the stark, chiselled profile of the architecture to stand out against the blue sky, as though a cloud had floated down to earth and settled in search of rest.
To protect the private gardens, slender metal frames echo the clean geometric lines of the architecture which they surround; lightweight rush matting is used to create an environment that’s interwoven with shadows and strands of light, a striped, airy space, still permeated with the sea breeze and the surrounding scenery.
The numerous technical systems requiring easy inspection involved research into detailed solutions that would reconcile purely maintenance-related aspects with the refined appearance of the exteriors; for example, the inspection well covers, which become corten steel plates with brass inserts, or pure metal prisms set into the sinuous layout of the flowerbeds.
Technically comprising twenty-one different architectural projects, one per suite, and ample communal areas, the interiors were designed by interspersing various classic, series-produced elements with numerous custom-made furnishings and accessories, handcrafted with great care to detail and research into materials, emphasizing their natural colours and rough textures.
Upon entering the hotel, dark, volcanic hues, like the island’s soil and rocks, help rest the eyes after the strong glare of the Sicilian sky.
This atmosphere of luxurious cosiness was achieved, working hand in glove with the Owner, thanks to a close working partnership with the artist Gennaro Avallone. For several years now, Avallone has spent his career carrying out research in the area of applied arts. Here, his artworks establish a symbiotic relationship with the picturesque vaulted interiors of the traditional Pantelleria architecture.
Photography by Tom Mannion