Nulty Bespoke Produces Clever Pendants For Pioneering Women’s College in Cambridge

Nulty Bespoke brings passion and vision to the design and production of 36 beautiful pendants for the newly opened Porter’s Lodge and entrance of Newnham College.

This main reception space serves multiple functions including hosting exhibitions and launch events, and as the first port of call upon entering this highly esteemed seat of learning. The challenge was to create a sense of
welcoming warmth while simultaneously addressing the varied practical needs of the space.

Surface-mounted lighting fixtures provide a soft, warm, and diffuse lighting effect complementing the architect’s vision of a timber-coffered ceiling. Colour temperature was crucial, as anything cold and austere as a first
impression wouldn’t have reflected how the space was intended to be used.

The luminaire solution provided by Nulty Bespoke composed mainly of two perfectly proportioned brass disks. The material of brass was selected for its lustrous qualities that not only aptly reflect the college’s revered history but also work best to help bring out the warm tones of the timber ceiling. A series of small LED lights are concealed in the reverse of the lower disk, shining light onto to the larger disk above, creating a rich, lustrous glow in the space.

Focused accent lighting is provided via a miniature, retractable LED spotlight housed within the centre of each pendant, flush with the lower brass disk. When housed in its fully recessed ‘resting’ position this downlight serves to shine a warm pool of light on the ground beneath, echoing the rhythm and symmetry of the timber coffers. However, it can also be extended and adjusted to focus light at various angles within the space as necessary,
whether it be a historical document in a showcase or a portrait of an alumna on the wall.

All the lighting technology (drivers for the lights as well as emergency batteries) is concealed behind the upper disk. Crucially, this ensures everything that is exposed is purely decorative.

The feature luminaire’s indirect lights and focused directional downlight are controlled independently, introducing flexible layers of light, which allows the space to be addressed separately as required.

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