A stark white house in the shape of a cross is perched on a stone hill near the small town of Melides in Portugal in a modernized version of castles overlooking the countryside. Inspired by feudal mansions that were positioned for optimal views of the lords’ estates, the house features four connected living volumes surrounding a central courtyard from which inhabitants can watch the sun sink down into the horizon each night.

A joint project between architects Ana Cravino and Inês Cordovil of SIA Arquitectura Studio and Portuguese architect Manuel Aires Mateus (photographed by Fernando Guerra), the home stands out from the surrounding landscape just as dramatically as a medieval castle would have, but with a very different aesthetic of pure white rectilinear surfaces.

The two-story home features three bedrooms, a kitchen and living room on the top floor, with an additional living room and storage areas on the lower floor. The elevated courtyard leads out to a spacious terrace and infinity-edge swimming pool.

The interior of the home continues the modern, minimalist feel of the exterior, including a kitchen in which all appliances, cabinets and implements are hidden in a white wall for an entirely clutter-free appearance. A tranquil bath looks out onto the swimming pool, and a curving cut-out in one corner adds visual interest, inside and out.