Stuck in a small lot with nosy neighbors? No worries: just built up instead of out, like the architects of this home on the remote island Sentosa (near Singapore).

Guz Architects‘ plan was, in part, to create something that felt like a one-story dwelling but sat up above the neighbors, treating the first floor like a basement (conceptually) and the second story with its green deck like a main-floor house and garden, with yet a third story and green roof on that.

A central stair and airy atrium channel light, breezes and occupants up and down through the core, connecting a sublime terrace above with the more secluded living spaces below.

None of this focus on the upper levels is meant to suggest the actual entry floor was not well-designed, with its own secluded outdoor space as well as relatively-small exterior deck leading out to the water’s edge.

The swimming pool with its glass walls is a pretty incredible experience, as well.

“This house is located on a new housing estate on the island of Sentosa adjacent to Singapore. The plots are not large and neighbouring buildings are built close to the sides of each house. Thus our strategy was to build a solid wall to each side neighbor to provide privacy where possible, while creating a central light and stair well which would funnel the sea breeze through the centre of the building. The front and rear of the building meanwhile, terrace back allowing each story to have visual or actual access to greenery.”

“The intention was to try to allow each roof garden provided a base for the story above allowing the layered effect to make each story feel like it was a single storey dwelling sitting in a much as we could do in the close confines of Sentosa island and with such a large building!”