At first glance, the gable roof of this two-storey home in Siglap doesn’t turn any heads. But step inside and you’ll find a courtyard bathed in light, a scene made possible by the property’s unusual open roof structure. Anchored by a swimming pool, the courtyard’s breezy appeal is further enhanced by a landscaped garden and double-storey airwell reaching up into the sky.

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For Han Loke Kwang, principal architect of Hyla Architects, playing with the roof – or rather the absence of it – draws attention to the courtyard space as the focus of the abode, with main areas of the property looking into it. “We created this space within the form and volumn of the house, blurring the distinction between interior and exterior spaces, making the house feel more open,” says Han.

Despite its open plan, the 7,750 sq ft home inhabited by a retired businessman and his family, includes features to protect the privacy of its inhabitants. A deft use of textured bricks modulated with openings coupled with a striking pre-cast concrete screen helps to shield views of the house while providing visual interest.

(Related: Inside a futuristic bungalow inspired by fengshui principles)

Below, a closer look at the property:

Photo credit: Derek Swalwell for Hyla Architects