Light the Way – Code Pendant System by Nightworks Studio

Words by Sarah Sivaraman
Photography by Sarah Rowlands
Lighting Design Nightworks Studio

Tasked with contributing to a culturally significant building at a sensitive moment for the local Christchurch community, Nightworks Studio’s customisation of its Code Pendant System came to symbolise a new chapter for the building – honouring its past while illuminating a brighter future.

Rebuilding after a crisis is a multifaceted endeavour. In such instances, the role of design moves beyond the necessary structural repairs and comes to represent an optimistic gesture towards the future. Damaged by the Christchurch earthquakes, the Public Trust Office, a grand historic building dating back to 1925, needed repair. Nightworks Studio was commissioned to create a custom lighting piece to breathe new life into the building’s 6-metre-high lobby.

Materials, provenance, symbolism and beauty are all considered with equal importance, coming together to tell a unique story.

Nightworks Studio is based in Christchurch and offers its custom commission service across commercial and residential projects in Australia and New Zealand. The studio was founded by husband-and-wife team Ben and Kiri Wahrlich, who pride themselves on a relentless attention to detail and considerate use of raw materials. When it came time to contributing to such a significant building within their home city, the duo drew on the studio’s signature collection of modular lighting to create a truly bespoke chandelier which hangs impressively between the terrazzo floor and ornate ceiling.

Following a crisis as devastating as the Christchurch earthquakes, forward-thinking and adaptability were key. The tailored approach to the piece’s design involved referencing the original Sydney sandstone façade of the Public Trust Office, likewise the building’s brass hardware. Square columns of sandstone and custom brass fixings were incorporated into the award-winning Code Pendant System, which draws inspiration from the dots and dashes of morse code and is comprised of modular components with endless opportunities for bespoke expression. The overall effect of this consideration and craftsmanship is a finely balanced fixture with a glamorous presence.

The brilliance of the Code Pendant System lies not only in its quality materials of hand-blown glass and solid brass – it lies too within its potential to be personalised. Just as it did for the Public Trust Office, the custom service offered by Nightworks builds a narrative with the sum of its parts. Materials, provenance, symbolism and beauty are all considered with equal importance, coming together to tell a unique story