Bruno Dias Arquitectura designed an one-floor house around a central patio in Ansião village, Portugal.

-text by the architects

In the historic centre of the village of Ansião, on a slightly sloped land, Casa Âmago emerges. The plot had two small houses in ruins, with no architectural interest, and as such, renovating them was not an option. However, it wouldn’t be in harmony with the surroundings to plan a contemporary house with no connection to the neighbouring buildings. Thus, the first glimpse of this house does not give away what is beyond the wall and gate. An one-floor building, with a large central patio, the core from which the theme unfolds into all the other spaces and organisation.

“Âmago” means marrow, centre, core, focal point, and this central patio works as the main point of the house.

The main entrance is located on the east, whether reached on foot or by car, the main hall takes you directly to the social area, livingroom, kitchen and barbecue area. Along this axis you can find the technical and service room areas, such as the gym, study, launderette, a service toilet room and a utility room. All these spaces lead to a patio on the northern side, allowing natural light and ventilation. The social area, set on the west side and onto a garden, brings in a natural afternoon and early evening light, the time when people most enjoy the space. The barbecue area is an essential space in this house, as it provides a privileged social interaction with friends.


In the living room you will find a piece of furniture that was specifically designed for this space, which hides the private quarters, thus ensuring privacy to users. Two of the bedrooms and the suite are turned west onto the garden. The third bedroom, the shared bathroom and the private bathroom are turned east towards the central patio. Both bathroom facilities of the private quarters have a patio, which allows for natural light and a more pleasant space.

The house is organised in an orthogonal layout, which contrasts with the organic roof slabs in reinforced concrete, with circular patios.

The presence of wood in most of the spaces of “Casa Âmago”, gives a unique and personal touch to them, flowing into the core area – the central patio.

Facts & Credits
Project title  Casa Âmago
Typology  Architecture, House, Residential
Location  Ansião, Leiria District, Portugal 
Area  765,00 m2
Status  Completed, 2022
Client  Bruno Dias & Fernanda Santos
Architecture  Bruno Dias Arquitectura
Project team  Bruno Lucas, Dias Tânia Matias, Cristiana Henriques
Building company  Montoconfra
Plumbing / Eletricity  Canalizações Alvorgense
Carpentry  MCJADuarte
Floors  Paumarc
Coating materials  Carlos Silva & Miguel Ferreira
Metalworking  Jolusilva
Photography  Hugo Santos Silva

Check out, also, Palco dos Sentidos project by Bruno Dias Arquitectura, here!