Privacy and green space can be hard to come by in the city – this house manages to feature both in spades, despite its central location in the Quang Ninh province of Vietnam.

Designed by Vo Trong Nghia Architects, a fundamental architectural gesture gives shape to the structure and space alike – an upward-spiraling stone building that forms around and within green gardens and roofs.

From the architects: “Circulating flow runs around the courtyard and continues to the green roof, connecting all places in the house. This courtyard and green roof compose a sequential garden, which creates a rich relationship between inside and outside the house.”

The result is a series of rooms that look down on the central light well and garden area, or allow residents to walk right out into it or onto the tops of the boundary-defining walls, which are themselves grass roofs. The material palette is primarily threefold: lush greenery (above and below), cool stone (outside and structure) and warm wood (inside and trim).

Of the materials: “To create a wall with smooth curvature, cubic stones with a thickness of 10cm were carefully stacked. Consequently, the wall performs the play of light and shadow. Massive and meticulous texture of the wall generates a cave-like space, which recalls the image of a primitive house.”