Bright Ideas

Malaysia Tatler - - LIFE -

Heat and glare from nat­u­ral sun­light have re­mained a dis­tress for most home­own­ers through­out his­tory. Tan Xi Voon speaks to the co­founder of Nu In­fin­ity, Alex Lee, to find out how we can achieve a win-win sit­u­a­tion: to in­vite light into a space while main­tain­ing an op­ti­mum indoor tem­per­a­ture

Malaysia is a trop­i­cal coun­try char­ac­terised by high tem­per­a­tures and hu­mid­ity, both of which are ma­jor fac­tors that af­fect the com­fort of modern res­i­dences. Nat­u­rally, most lo­cal homes to­day are be­ing fit­ted with air con­di­tion­ing—it is quite un­likely that one would even con­sider a house with­out it. In fact, many dwellers even have to take ex­tra pro­tec­tive mea­sures against UV by in­stalling awnings and heavy cur­tains to ward off the cli­matic as­sault. Re­gard­ing such prac­tice, Alex Lee, co­founder of the award-win­ning in­te­rior design and ar­chi­tec­tural firm Nu In­fin­ity, takes a dif­fer­ent stand. “Be­ing one of the coun­tries that is blessed with the bright­est sun rays through­out the year—an el­e­ment not en­joyed by many other na­tions—it is a waste that we do not in­cor­po­rate nat­u­ral light more of­ten in our in­te­ri­ors,” he says. The sea­soned in­te­rior designer un­der­stands peo­ple’s de­sire for indoor ther­mal com­fort, but he be­lieves that it is pos­si­ble to at­tain it with­out hav­ing to block sun­light out com­pletely. As ev­i­dence to his state­ment, one of Nu In­fin­ity’s sig­na­ture projects, Mag­nif­i­cent 7, bril­liantly show­cases the trans­for­ma­tion that Malaysian weather can bring to a house when it is em­braced in the design process. Alex re­veals the back story to the pro­ject: “The client wanted a design that is time­less. In the past, the own­ers en­gaged a few de­sign­ers for re­mod­elling, but the out­come be­came trite af­ter a while.” Many would have set about switch­ing the dec­o­ra­tions or re­paint­ing the walls for a fresh look; the Nu In­fin­ity team how­ever, de­cided to make im­prove­ments in terms of nat­u­ral light­ing. The strat­egy may be a slightly un­usual one, but it is surely ef­fec­tive if the ren­o­vated look is any­thing to go by. In the next page, Alex shares with us sev­eral flat­ter­ing, Malaysian-weather-friendly tricks that have been in­cor­po­rated into their Mag­nif­i­cent 7 pro­ject and should be picked up by any lo­cal home­owner who wants to cre­ate a light-filled, well-ven­ti­lated space.

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