THE WAKA
Stephenson&Turner New Zealand Ltd Thursday 05 Apr 2012

A fitting to warm the heart of the family home

The Waka Light was designed for the central space of the First Light House, New Zealand's entry to the US Department of Energy's Solar Decathlon in September 2011.

The house is inspired by the traditional New Zealand holiday beach house or kiwi "bach". The house is constructed of local timber and is open and airy, allowing for plenty of natural light and ventilation. It is also designed to promote a lifestyle in sync with the natural environment. It celebrates New Zealand's coastline which is intimately connected to family holidays, gatherings and outdoor activities.

The Waka is a large, crafted timber light fitting which hovers in the air above the central table pointing along the jetty-like surface. The design draws from the traditional M?ori Waka or canoe and is laser etched with intricate designs, inspired by Maori patterns, and hand-made with meticulous attention to detail. Designers aimed to highlight the central dining space as the social and physical heart of the home, while being as energy efficient as possible.

During the day, natural daylight floods through the skylight and bi-folding doors into the central space. In this light the Waka casts interesting shadows and patterns, reminiscent of ripples on water. In the evening, three 6W LEDs illuminate the surface below. Soft, reflected light off the tabletop indirectly illuminates the rest of the open plan spaces for wayfinding. The LED strip mounted within the fitting radiates an ambient glow, capable of being separately switched on or off, or dimmed, enabling the user to create a perfect balance between ambiance and functionality for any situation. The central light also acts as a beacon; inviting and drawing people into the warm, intimate heart of the home.