Lagomar, a setting created by nature itself
This private property on the island of Lanzarote stands out due to its great natural and architectonic appeal. Situated in the village of Nazaret in the municipality of Teguise, is striking thanks to its unique setting, which is home to an ancient volcanic quarry, and the use of its lava as a construction material. Lagomar is, therefore, a unique property whose architecture is completely conditioned by the distinctiveness of the surrounding nature, as the existing tunnels, recesses and terraces were formed from the molten lava released by a volcanic eruption. As such, human creativity is just one more element in a work created by nature.
The architects that left their imprint on Lagomar
The Lagomar architectural project was commissioned by the British developer Sam Benady who wanted to build a home in this extraordinary setting. Benady entrusted Lanzarote’s most famous artist, César Manrique, to design the building, although a large part of it was completed by Jesús Soto. The partnership between Manrique and Soto wasn’t only confined to the Lagomar project, as together they also contributed to the creation of some of the island’s most iconic monuments, such as the Cactus Garden and the Mirador del Río for example.
Lagomar perfectly reflects the spirit of César Manrique, an artist that constantly sought to merge art and nature, a pairing that is present across all his work. In 1985 he was awarded the Europa Nostra Prize for his architectural legacy and for his work in defence of the environmental values of Lanzarote, in addition to the World Prize for Ecology and Tourism in 1987.
One of Lagomar’s most interesting anecdotes dates back to the 1980s when the Egyptian actor Omar Sharif came to the island to film The Mysterious Island, inspired by the work of Jules Verne. It is said that after visiting the home of Sam Benady, he fell in love with it and bought it. Allegedly (although this part of the story could well be mere fiction), knowing that the Egyptian was a great fan of bridge, Benady challenged him to a game, with the house at stake. This is how Benady supposedly reclaimed the property shortly after it was sold. Whether this story is true or not, in the Lagomar Museum there are photographs showing both protagonists playing cards. That said, it is still common to find local people who refer to the property as “Omar Sharif’s house”.
In 1989 the house was bought by the architects Dominik von Boettinger and Beatriz Van Hoff, who began the last phase of development. In an intelligent manner, both architects went to great lengths to understand the construction traditions of the island and decided to work on the building in a way that respected its vernacular architecture. The end result ties in with the aesthetics of other celebrated works in Lanzarote and astonishes with its seemingly chaotic structure with lookout points, small patios and tunnels that seem to appear out of nowhere, almost in an improvised manner.
The space invites relaxation and stands apart for its sheer beauty. Some of the colours associated with the collective imagination of Lanzarote converge within it. Naturally, the tones of the quarry are those that stand out the most, in addition to the white of the building. Thus, one can clearly distinguish between the imprint of nature and human beings. Likewise, the small central lake acquires great prominence with its turquoise waters, in much the same way as the green of the palm trees and the cacti, vegetation that is abundant on the island.
This dazzling backdrop also boasts views of the Atlantic Sea and allows you to contemplate Lanzarote’s volcanic terrain. For this reason, it’s little wonder that it has been used as a filming and photographic location as well as regularly playing host to all manner of parties and events.
The Lagomar bar and restaurant
The Lagomar restaurant is an intimate and charming space where you can enjoy a special dinner. Its menu includes Mediterranean dishes and international cuisine made using the freshest produce, with special Canarian touches. It also boasts an interesting drinks menu replete with local wines. The restaurant’s terrace is perfect for dining next to the lake, although the indoor dining room—set across two levels—also offers incredible views of the architectural and natural wonder thanks to its large windows. In spite of its small size, it is a truly charming place to dine.
After dinner, visitors can round off a magical night with a drink in the La Cueva bar, an establishment that stands out due to its clientele of varying ages and due to the different music on offer, such as electronic music, chill out and house. Its unique layout—it has intimate areas with benches where you can sit down and chat—and the beauty of the architectural ensemble have made it into a haven for bohemian artists and musicians, for whom it is a source of inspiration.
Last but not least, Lagomar also has an art gallery in which exhibitions are organised. You can see its cultural programme here. Don’t leave Lanzarote without visiting one of the most magical places that forms part of the island’s heritage.
Information of interest
- How to arrive: The Lagomar house-museum is 15 minutes by car from the capital of Lanzarote, Arrecife. Take road LZ-1 out of Arrecife and then take the LZ-10 from Tahíche. Once in Nazaret, turn right along Calle Las Perdices and continue until the end to Lagomar.
- Visiting hours: from 10:00 AM to 6:00 PM.
- Adults: €6
- Children: €2
- Canary Islands residents: €4
- Lanzarote residents: €2
- Restaurant opening hours: Tuesdays to Sundays from 12:00 midday to 11:00 PM.
- La Cueva bar opening hours: Tuesdays to Sundays from 6:30 PM.