The César Manrique foundation was set up in 1982 by César Manrique and a group of friends but wasn’t officially opened until 1992, after Manrique was killed. The foundation, based at Manrique’s home before he moved out for a quieter life, is a private, non-profit organisation set-up to allow tourists access to Manrique’s home. The foundation is also an art-gallery featuring both art created by Manrique himself, as well as art Manrique acquired over his life. The gallery includes original sketches by Pablo Picasso and Joan Miró. The money that the foundation makes from ticket sales, goes into Lanzarote and helps to raise awareness about art as well as being used to fund the foundation’s “artistic, cultural and environmental activities”.
Manrique’s home itself is built within a 3,000 m2 lot, on the site of the Lanzarote eruptions in the 18th century and was created upon Manrique’s return from New York in 1966. The rooms on the first floor, including the artist studios, were created with the intention of keeping with Lanzarote traditions, yet making them more modern with open spaces and large windows. The “ground floor”, more appropriately titled the “basement”, contains five areas situated within volcanic bubbles, the rooms bored into volcanic basalt. There is a central cave which houses a recreational area, including a swimming pool, a barbecue and a small dance floor.
Once outside the main house, the visitor comes to the outside area, where there is a small square with a fountain in the middle before approaching a small café area and the visitor shop. This area was once César Manrique’s garage.