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.