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This Portuguese house in the town of Leiria, designed by Manuel Aries Mateus, stands tall and solid, looking rather a lot like the pictures of houses that children draw.

It is simple and unadorned, relying instead on its minimalism to impress. It is almost as if someone described a house – four walls and a pointed roof – and it was brought to life in this little town.

There are no conventional windows as you might find in almost any other home. Instead, the home has a gigantic, barn door-sized opening in the front.

A cutout in the ceiling of the main structure allows in natural light that is more than adequate to illuminate the home. Part of the home resides underground, featuring cutout windows in the ground to let light flood the subterranean chambers.

The home, at first glance, may look harshly minimal. But the warm glow that fills it in the daytime from the sun is reflected in the warm light that shines outward after dark, making it seem like a cozy, comfortable place to be.