- Lanzarote -
"Better to see something once than
hear about it a thousand times"
Lagomar Museum is one of my favorite places in Lanzarote. And of course is much more than just a museum. It is a museum with a famous restaurant. A house caught in the Volcano bubble in the small village of Nazaret. Spacious with lush vegetation. It is amazing how places in-house are arranged and interlaced among each other. It is like a beautiful labyrinth house.
The house has an interesting story of how it became a public museum. Originally conceived by the most famous architect from Lanzarote, César Manrique, and designed by the artist Jesús Soto for the British developer Sam Benady with an architectural vision which could evoke mental imagery from the Arabian night's mythology.
In the early 1970s Holywood's actor Omar Sharif came to Lanzarote to film “The Mysterious Island”, he visited LagOmar, fell in love with it and bought it. Omar Sharif is known from his role as the leading actor of the movie Dr. Zhivago. San Benady knowing Sharif’s reputation as a card player challenged him to a game of Bridge. Sharif accepted the challenge, not realizing that Benady was also a champion Bridge player, and allegedly lost the house.
In 1989 architects Dominik von Boettinger from Germany and Beatriz van Hoff from Uruguay bought the house and initiated the last phase of development. They sought the advice of local artists and created a vernacular architecture inspired by the elements and the island’s capricious topography.
The existing caves were refurbished using wood and artifacts from local shipwrecks, for the beams and lights. Local flora was incorporated in the design: cactus, palm, aloes, and bougainvillea, to form an oasis within the rock. They used glass, washed concrete and pebbles to generate circular patios, the lake, cascades and a series of curvaceous spaces avoiding all forms of square tiling whatsoever.