Both buildings are equally integrated into the landscape, the lava dwelling with open skylights as the only light source, this one with spectacular views to one side. Those features make the atmosphere of the two spaces very different. Whereas the introvert lava dwelling makes you feel submerged into the landscape, this one makes you feel surrounded and protected by a built structure that facilitates the most spectacular views to the outside landscape. You enter through a narrow tunnel with beautiful displays of traditional pottery, then the space opens up in an airy domed space with huge "eyes" that fills it with light and air.
The interior also features the most beautiful wooden door, a large fireplace, Manrique's trademark curved sofa (the greyish blue was wonderful with the rusty steel, the dark wood and all the white) and a gorgeous staircase that would never pass the building regulations I'm struggling with on a daily basis:-) It's dark wooden steps on top of the organically shaped white concrete takes you from the main space to the roof lookout.
But the best is yet to come. The most dramatic experience of the Mirador is without a doubt from the outside. Only the glass resembles something manmade, the rest blends seamlessly into the landscape. The wind is ruthless, it almost rips your camera out of your hands, and, as my dad put it, "it tried to rip my clothes off"! All of this adds to the drama of the experience. The views almost make your stomach turn and you want to lean back against the organic surface of the rock solid structure. The structure, being fully integrated in the landscape, is a safe haven from the raging wind. It's hard to get a good picture of the whole thing, obviously you can't take a few steps back.... Are you a Manrique fan yet? I have one more treat for you coming up soon. This time, it's all about fire and heat....
View to the ferry landing on Graciosa island.