The New Casa de Los Volcanes Exhibition Space

GPY Arquitectos

The Jameos del Agua complex is part of the island of Lanzarote’s Art, Culture and Tourism Centres, designed by the artist César Manrique. The Jameos del Agua’s subterranean garden, which develops around a lava tube and its three jameos - open, roofless grottoes - is a 'Gesamtkunstwerk', complemented by a building complex on the ground level known as the Casa de Los Volcanes Our project for the new Casa de Los Volcanes exhibition space proposes a reinterpretation of this major work of environmental art. Installed in an unused part of the building complex, which was formerly meant to serve as a hotel but was left unfinished and unused for decades, the intervention maintains the exterior aspect of the built volumes, while opening up the interior through a process of micro-erasure and creating accessible connections. The exhibition gallery is thus integrated into the complex’s dynamics as an open, fluid space that follows Manrique’s idea of a continuous passage through space in the form of a sequence of tubes and jameos, roof and sky, shadow and light, creating a new staging of the landscape of lava flows. The project is conceived as a minimal intervention which helps the existing building fulfil its original vision. It converts the Centre from a subterranean garden into a stratified complex of gardens, built over three levels. The project serves to renew the site’s functionality and acts as a catalyst for the reactivation of the Centre as one of the drivers of the island's culture and economy.