Let It Glow: Detailing Perfect Pendant Lights

This inspirational collection showcases stunning pendant lights within contemporary spaces.

Eric Baldwin Eric Baldwin

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Light defines space. When choosing lighting for your project, it’s important to balance a combination of natural daylight and artificial illumination that together make dramatic or comforting spaces. Generally speaking, fixtures fall into one of three categories: special purpose, fixed or free standing. Beyond this, the options are endless. Consider style, shape, color and size. Knowing which light to choose will help you create the right atmosphere for your project.

Pendant lights are usually smaller hanging fixtures that hang down close to eye level. Attached to cords, chains or metal rods, pendants can be hung individually or in groups to create a range of effects. Drawing attention within a room, these fixtures can be used for direct lighting or to make a statement, not unlike a chandelier. Pendants can be hung in a straight line over kitchen countertops and dinette sets. Since they are typically smaller, it’s important to carefully consider how many you need to adequately light your project. The following collection shows different pendant lights and a variety of ways that they can be used within a space.

Belvedere Hotel by Rockwell Group, School of Fine Arts District, Mykonos, Greece

Pendant lights by Johnson Light Studio and Terzani Magdalena Pendants

Located on the picturesque island of Mykonos in the Aegean Sea, the Belvedere Hotel was redesigned as a hilltop boutique project. The renovation and expansion includes a new lobby, guest rooms, and the Belvedere Hotel Restaurant and Bar, a three-level space that opens out onto the redesigned pool area on the lower level.

The natural materials included in the redesign were inspired by the seaside location, and inform both the restaurant and luxury hotel at-large. Sparkling pendant lights by Johnson Light Studio and Terzani Magdalena Pendants were chosen alongside hand-carved rosewood millwork, sculptures by local artists and yacht-inspired built-in amenities and custom furnishings. A color palette of whites, warms tans and greens were chosen to complement the lighting and embrace views out to the sea.

Hard Water by Lundberg Design, San Francisco, CA, United States

Pendants by Lundberg Design

Designed as an American Whiskey bar tucked into a historic bulkhead building on San Francisco’s Pier 3, HardWater was created with an interior and exterior largely fabricated Lundberg in-house. Materials were plied, bent and cut to produce visual and tactile experiences, including barrel-stave signage, stainless steel details, and a double-height glowing whiskey library. Redefining the notion of a whiskey bar, HardWater reinterprets history to create experiences for a younger, more diverse crowd.

Celebrating American craft, the project includes a reclaimed-buoy pendant that hangs over the Carrera bar. The bar was made to be bright, modern and exciting — according to the architects, “it is not a place to hide, it is a place to celebrate.” The lighting helps create an atmosphere that reinterprets whiskey making traditions and forms a new space for leisure and casual gatherings.

Narrow House by FORM studio, Covent Garden, London, United Kingdom

Pendant light by Martini

As an adaptive reuse of a late 19th century office building, Narrow house is a distinct residential space with naturally-lit rooms wrapped around a central stair at a domestic scale. The heart of the four-bedroom house is a soaring, 19-foot-high high double-height kitchen/dining space that opens onto a newly created ground floor courtyard. Outside, a decorative metal screen echoes the proportions of traditional shopfronts to fit within the Dutch-gabled brick elevation.

Fastidious detailing combines with a palette of high quality materials to create a sequence of calm and coherent interior volumes. A pendant light by Martini hangs within the double-height kitchen/dining space, an element that centers the seamless spatial flow between the six floors of accommodation. The light was chosen as a semi-translucent orb finished with a bird nest-esque pattern.

PCH Innovation Hub by ChrDAUER Architects, San Francisco, Calif., United States

Pendant lights by Beta-Calco, Neidhardt and Stile Lighting

The PCH Innovation Hub was built to capitalize on an existing structure’s open plan to maximize transparency and daylight. Made with training rooms, conference areas and prototyping laboratories, the project was designed to encourage innovation. Built with a simple material palette featuring painted steel, oak and glass, the new hub transforms the former building into an efficient and distinctive structure.

Located in a 30,000 sq ft. landmark building, the design builds upon the existing building’s generous open plan with redesigned interiors and three different types of pendant lights by Beta-Calco, Neidhardt and Stile Lighting. A palette of white oak, glass, and painted steel elements was selected to counterpoint the patina of the original concrete and steel sash finishes, while the building’s monochromatic dark grey reveals a glowing hive of activity by dark.

Zen Barn by Christopher Simmonds Architect Inc., Ottawa, Canada

Pendants by Axo Light and Tom Dixon

Zen Barn was designed as a linear house interrupted by volumes of light wells, stairs, and courtyard. Formally organized to create a strong sense of indoor-outdoor connections, the project focuses on the interpenetration of views, light, and space along the south side of the home. Outside, reclaimed white oak boards clad the exterior volumes.

Various systems and details combine to create elegant interiors, from exposed concrete floors and matte white lacquer cabinetry to stained ash veneer. Achieving a LEED Platinum home rating, Zen barn features multiple pendant light designs by Axo Light and Tom Dixon. A featured bright-red pendant becomes the centerpiece of the home’s dining room and plays off the other more subtle lighting choices.

The Roundhouse by Rockwell Group, Beacon, NY, United States

Pendant Lights by Niche Modern

Renovating historically significant 19th and early 20th century industrial buildings in the Hudson River Valley, the Rockwell Group transformed the restored Roundhouse Building. The project combines an environmentally-conscious destination restaurant and bar with a lounge and hotel. The restaurant faces scenic Beacon Falls and provides views through floor-to-ceiling windows; careful reuse techniques helped breathe new life into the Roundhouse building.

Local artisans outfitted the spaces with carefully crafted wooden tables, a hand-blown chandelier, and a nickel-cerused walnut bar surface with a gold-cerused oak bar face. Built with 12 standard guest rooms and two penthouse suites, the hotel’s lighting was created by Niche Modern around distinctive works of art from the Roundhouse Art Collection. The lighting was detailed to draw attention to specific interior elements and not compete with outdoor views.

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Eric Baldwin Author: Eric Baldwin
Eric Baldwin is the Firmwide Communications Manager for Perkins&Will. Based in New York City, he was trained in both architecture and communications with a background spanning media, academia, and practice. He is deeply committed to trying as many restaurants as possible in NYC.
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