Cesar Manrique is the pride and soul of the island of Lanzarote. This local artist's influence can be seen throughout the character and construction of the island (he imposed the white building design regulations). Built in 1966 upon his return from NYC, Manrique spawned this 3,000m house inside a defunct volcano.
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Lanzarote: An architect's dream
Lanzarote is the most easterly island of the Canarian archipelago. The first thing that came to our attention when we landed in Lanzarote was the absence of high-rise buildings - Volcanic Mountains and pristine beaches sprinkled with whitewashed houses dominate the landscape of Lanzarote. The credit for this goes to the Canarian architect Cesar Manrique, who spent most of his life developing an eco-friendly model for Lanzarote.
His philosophy was so intriguing that we paid his house, which has now been turned into a museum, a visit. The moment you enter, you can see the stamp of his style all around you – rooms and sitting spaces carved out of lava bubbles, and furniture decorated with natural vegetation (cacti). The colour theme matches that of the island – white coloured walls and spaces dotted with azure coloured pools.
You can tell that the avant-garde architect carved this entire place out of lava rocks when you stand next to a window – on the other side of the glass all you see is acres and acres of lava rocks. His works of art and sculpture are also put up in an exhibition in the house – make sure you spend some time analysing the genius’s work. Creativity and spontaneity are two things that are omnipresent in the Fundacion Cesar Manrique. Do make sure you get there early to avoid the crowds. Opening times vary by season, and in winters, the last entry is at 5 P.M.