The second floor, meanwhile, is a treasure trove of fabric and material. Samples and catalogues are a constant source of inspiration and can be studied and examined in this room. Because often, the material itself determines the shape and subsequent development of a concept—as is the case with wood, a main material for South Tyrolean creativity and an important element for many of Thaler’s interior design projects. Examples include private homes, the Museion Atelier House in Bolzano, a renovated pharmacy in Klausen (where another local material is used, namely, white Lasa marble), or the business premise for Pur Südtirol, the market for South Tyrolean quality products, which after Lana (just a few metres from Thaler’s silo), Bolzano, Bruneck, and Merano, has recently opened in Brixen. We climb higher up to the two floors with offices for staff and the designer himself—in the latter, a large table dominates the room and in its simplicity highlights another decisive dimension of Thaler’s creativity: naturalness. Harry Thaler always has a smile on his face both in his professional and private life, his mannerisms are polite, and his handshake is sincere. To sit down at a table with his colleagues, to exchange ideas, to discuss or think about new ideas together is, therefore, the most natural thing and can only be counted as a strength for a designer who places more value on relationships than on egocentrism. This is also testified by the cosy kitchen on the fifth floor of this South Tyrolean creative centre. This room is also open, simple, and casual, where ideas and meals are prepared, shared, and enjoyed in good company. Now, having arrived at the top of this tower, which reflects itself and its interior, the world around it, and beyond, we descend the steep spiral staircase again. On our way down, we let the sketches and drawings, prototypes, lamps, chairs, and bicycles sink in once more—perhaps with a different perspective—and take a suitcase full of impressions with us from this journey to the centre of Lana’s “Zone” and into the heart of design.
Photos: Franziska Unterholzer, Davide Perbellini, Jäger & Jäger