Space Studio 13 eCubed Jasmax 4 Cordis Auckland, Pinnacle Tower

  • Ringatoi Matua / Design Directors
    David Sweatman, Mark Kessner, Vee Kessner
  • Ngā Kaimahi / Team Members
    Kirsty Coles, Joel de Jesus, Alistair Scott, Andy Anderson
  • Client
    Cordis Auckland

The central narrative for the Cordis Pinnacle Tower interiors was Te Whai Ao.

Te whai ao is the spark of light that one sees just before dawn and, like the dawning of a new idea or the light that precedes innovation, it speaks of new beginnings, possibilities and a fresh way of seeing things.

This manifests in the lighting design, as the hotel transitions from the existing building that was built in the 1980's to the new tower. The original building with richly ornamented classical hotel interiors, contrasts to the new vibrant integrated tower, while allowing more natural light, more contemporary and refined detail and a lighter palette. The lighting through the Pinnacle tower leads the guest on a journey through the core circulation spaces in the building to the end of their journey - their room. With floor to ceiling glazing and views across Tamaki Makaurau. A key element to the room is a bespoke wall light conceptualised with Ngāti Whātua Ōrākei, and telling one of the founding stories of Auckland, the story of the arrival of the pūpū tarakihi (paper nautilus).

A key aspect from the client brief was that lighting was to be indirect, avoiding downlights wherever possible. In tandem with the brief we managed the light sources to provide indirect ambient light levels, complimented with carefully positioned low glare direct light sources highlighting key narrative elements, artworks and wayfinding.

The owner is one of the world's foremost collectors of Asian art, and a significant portfolio of local works was commissioned in the development of the new tower. Illuminating these features was a key part of aiding in the wayfinding of the guest journey using artworks and viewpoints and control of light and dark to direct the guest on a path underlined by the principals of the central te whai ao narrative.