Fabric 6 Nightlight

  • Pou Auaha / Creative Directors
    Mitchell Coll, Amy Douglas
  • Kaitautoko / Contributors
    Dani Pinion, Bill Mulholland

‘Nightlight’ fills a small gap in a historic clearing of the kānuka belt wrapping around the Akaroa township in Banks Peninsula. Practically this building was to provide services and tool storage for the owners long term vision to regenerate the land and build their forever home. Once that home is complete, this structure needs to slot into and enhance its surroundings, rather than detract from them.

The response is a polycarbonate structure enveloped in a lattice of timber that mimics the surrounding trunks of the kānuka tree line it is positioned in. Rather than locating this building out of sight like a typical shed or using it only for its services, ‘Nightlight’ has been reimagined as a light sculpture that will proudly be seen from the future outdoor living space.

Taking cues from the Japanese influence on Christchurch style architecture that the owners love, this interpretation of a shoji provides a constant connection to the surrounding bush and privacy where required when inside. All battens and slats were carefully lined up with the internal structure and used sparingly to allow a uniform pattern of glow at night. This critical geometry and alignment was a constant challenge throughout the build.

The filtered light seen glowing between the slats at night is a contrasting aesthetic to the minimalist facade seen throughout the day. The light it provides is a welcome addition to an otherwise dark site.