The House Next Door
Nulty recently took part in the 100W Challenge, hosted by the International Association of Lighting Designers (IALD). The challenge requires lighting designers to illuminate the space with no more than 100W of energy.
“The House Next Door”, a former building merchants located in Stoke Newington, London, provided a magnificent scene for this year’s challenge.
Our team of talented architectural lighting designers got to showcase their artistic flair combined with clever lighting solutions in this architecturally and aesthetically wonderful building. We opted for a lighting theme inspired by high-contrast, dramatic film noir.
So, to the story of Nulty Noir…
He returns home, the door creaking open into the once glamorous reception room.
All that fills the space now is the broad shape of his shadow as he stands in the doorway, the rain lashing against his back. He looks down and along the floor, tracing the edges of his profile as it stretches out across the floorboards of the darkened room.
A solitary light bleeds in through a crack in the door, the sultry streak of red and the slowly dancing shadows of a fire play in the doorway, streaming away as he climbs the steps and slowly pushes open the door.
The heat of the fire and heavy scent of too much perfume hits him like a wave, escaping into the cold behind him.
The fire just starting to fade casts a little light on the dingy scene. As the perfume saturates him he sees the glasses on the table, stained from what’s left of the wine, the bottle itself laying broken at the bottom of her scarf that sweeps around the pair of glasses and down towards him.
His professional eye catches the lipstick on the glass as a solitary candle light flickers across it highlighting the texture. His eyes follow its curves, the familiar shape of those lips – as his eyes follow them he sees the dainty prints on the glass and the coarse greasy marks on the other. Strange unfamiliar prints, invading the space like the ones he studies all day.
There’s a noise to his right, a shoe slips from a step and throws its slender, stiletto shadow across the stairs. Its partner clearly elsewhere, he climbs the steps and the creaks and groans pierce the silence as he makes his way up the stairs.
He enters his office, the desk light on in the darkness highlighting his life, his work. The papers have moved, they are crumpled and creased as if someone had sat there, his chair pushed to the side.
…he withdraws the gun and leaves, passing the sheet and cushion that he calls a bed these days. Noticing the second stiletto on the next staircase he proceeds with dangerous curiosity as he investigates further, climbing up into the silence.
Suddenly, like a shot in the dark, through the clutter and decorating mess in the corridor the sight of her cast against the wall, a tall stranger seemingly with her – the shadow of a blade becomes bigger as it looms behind her. He bursts through the adjacent door, rushing to get to the scene…
Then music, and lights – dazzled for a moment he sees the blade meet its target, a birthday cake. There are balloons and streamers and smiling faces, but there is something not right. The sight of his gun makes some laugh, and others fear as he quickly lowers it down.
HIS birthday. He had quite forgotten, but what else was he missing? What else had he not been noticing recently… and then his eyes meet hers…