César Manrique Foundation
In Tahíche is the César Manrique Foundation, dedicated to conserving, studying and spreading the famous artist’s work. This foundation also promotes culture, art and the environment through exhibitions, conferences and publications.
On his return from New York in 1968, César Manrique began work on this very singular house in the middle of a lava flow, cold and black, a legacy of the eruptions of 1730 and 1736. The artist lived here up until 1988. Today, the building houses the headquarters of the foundation that bears his name. The upper floor is a faithful reflection of Lanzarote’s traditional architecture, into which the artist has incorporated more modern elements such as oversized windows, curved spaces, sinuous corridors and open-plan rooms. This level houses the lounge, the kitchen and a living room which is today the Espacios (Spaces) room, where the artist’s private collection, including important works by other Spanish artists of his generation such as Miró, Chillida, Tàpies, Picasso, etc. is kept. The room next door, Bocetos (Sketches), is where the bedroom used to be, along with the guest room and a bathroom. Nowadays, visitors can look at sketches from both completed projects and others that never saw the light of day, but which are yet more proof of the creative capacity of Manrique.
The most spectacular level of the building, however, is perhaps the basement. Here, the spaces left behind by five natural volcanic bubbles form the rooms, with attractive corridors drilled into the hard volcanic lava connecting each of them to one another. All the spaces are decorated with an exquisite aesthetic taste and in each a particular colour has been chosen to take centre stage. In the centre of these bubbles, we find a jameo (volcanic cave without a roof) which houses a small pool of crystal-clear water, an original garden, barbecue, oven, bathrooms, and even a little dance floor decorated with work by Manrique himself.
In this space of leisure and rest, lush vegetation mingles with the imposing cacti which seem to reach up and touch the sky.