Cheshire Architects 68 Kingi Cloud Light

  • Pou Auaha / Creative Directors
    Dajiang Tai, Nat Cheshire
  • Ringatoi Matua / Design Directors
    Dajiang Tai, Nat Cheshire, Emily Priest
  • Ngā Kaimahi / Team Members
    Jin Young Jeong, Emily Priest
  • Kaitautoko / Contributor
  • Client
    Cooper and Company

In this sort of ‘squat’ - this ad-hoc occupation of a remnant - the glass is key. The glass is an exploded chandelier. It is in over 1,500 pieces. Like water vapour, the coagulation and suspension of those pieces in the space above Kingi forms a kind of cloud. Like a cloud, the piece flows from one space to another, unifying inside and out, transforming each. That was our goal: to unify spaces that are otherwise only loosely related; to introduce craft and detail and subtlety and an organic softness to a tough realm of cobblestones, brick, and old beams; to reconcile old elegance with the contemporary impulses of freedom and energy and joy. And to gift, quietly, for those guests fortunate enough to have stayed in the hotel's sister property at The Landing, a flash of recognition and recollection: Kingi's cloud of glass is an explosion of the lovely classical piece that holds the room at The Landing's underground cellar.

We sketched every one of these parts, from the glass petals to the armatures to the light sources themselves. We modelled them. We mapped each into a cluster, and each cluster into a cloud, and each cloud into each space. We traded samples weekly, photographing them, sketching over them, writing, talking, for weeks, until we and the glass blowers and electricians and metal workers all spoke the same language, and shared the same knowledge. Then they made it. Then we hung it. And it made a place.

Photography: Sam Hartnett