Lanzarote’s First Architecture Awards

The 1st “Premios de Arquitectura de Lanarote” have been creaed by COALZ (Colegio Oficial de Arquitectos de Lanzarote), the Official Association of Architects of the island, with the collaboration of the Cabildo of Lanzarote and the CACTs and with the sponsorship of Turismo Lanzarote. Their first edition took place earlier this month, in March of 2023. A total of 52 works were submitted and these are the winnings ones:

The 1st Prize in the category of NEW RESIDENTIAL BUILT went to the work called “Casa en Mala” by the architect Federico Zorrilla Abascal, which also won the LANZAROTE ARCHITECTURE AWARD.

The sensitivity of the composition and its relationship with the volcanic landscape and its surroundings, characterised by its dark colours, on which a white, organic volume is erected, seeking protection from the wind but also intimacy. From the outside, it achieves this through the “asocamiento”, or sheltering, produced by the careful lines of the stone walls in contrast with the white façades, which link it to the place and create a fluid space that invites surprise.

Beyond the threshold towards the interior, integrated spaces are maintained, in a constant relationship with the exterior through a series of visual sequences that link the different rooms of the dwelling with each other and with the landscape. As on the outside of the house, the space flows, the sinuosity of the façades allows the generation of degrees of intimacy and permeability depending on the uses and their relationship with the surroundings.

The dwelling makes efficient use of limited resources, worked on in the construction details and which generate a high-quality result, both in the dwelling itself and in the gardens where native vegetation emerges from time to time and which, combined, integrate a landscape proposal that integrates into the aridity of the territory, giving it a great deal of expressiveness.

The 1st Prize in the category of NEW BUILT WITH OTHER USES went to the work entitled “Sports Installation of the Football Field and Dependencies in Costa Teguise” by the architect José María Pérez Sánchez.

An effort for the integration into the landscape of an infrastructure that generates a great void in the territory. In contrast to the sports fields, the author establishes an interesting dialogue of scales that merges the whole with the surroundings. The proposal for the programme of complementary facilities is effectively resolved by integrating simple volumes that are expressed in a contained manner through the use of only two materials: stone and Corten steel. The layout of these volumes concatenates a succession of rich, permeable open spaces that resolve the unevenness through the skilful use of staggered routes, ramps, steps, slopes and gardens, which favour their integration into the landscape.

The 1st Prize in the category CONSERVATION – REFURBISHMENT – REHABILITATION – INTERIOR DESIGN OF AN EXISTING BUILDING, went to the work entitled “Rehabilitation of a single-family house between party walls” by the architect Patricia Betancort Ramos.

The delicacy and sensitivity with which a total ruin has been recovered, where the author assumed this circumstance as a challenge and gave the building a second life. The reconstruction involves a meticulous intervention that knows how to use the resources of her time. An intervention in which the original spaces are recovered from a contemporary interpretation, conserving the original courtyards and structuring walls. The housing programme fits into a plot with an unconventional floor plan that skilfully distributes the different rooms, maximising their relationship with the exterior, making the most of the light and natural ventilation. The reinterpretation of traditional spaces together with the incorporation of contemporary elements make this work a new, harmonious, rich and comfortable space that pays homage to the past by inhabiting it from the present.

The category of URBAN DESIGN, PUBLIC SPACE AND LANDSCAPE was declared void unanimously by the jury.

The 1st Prize in the ACADEMIC TRAINING category, which was aimed at Architecture students and young Architects who have developed ideas and/or projects within their academic training on the island of Lanzarote and La Graciosa was awarded to the “Urban Planning Project in the centre of Haría IS_LAB, the coastal cut”, by Alejandro J. González Arencibia, Alba Ramírez Domec and Silvia Cabrera Hernández.

This proposal highlights the in-depth analysis of this territorial research work, which covers different scales, from the obvious to the subtle and intangible, and which translates into a methodology of analysis of the territory that is very successful through the intention offered by the drawing. The proposal proposes the economic and urban reactivation of the village by rehabilitating the abandoned buildings, implementing an alternative and dispersed hotel concept capable of avoiding the concentration of tourism in a single point. This urban network of settlements is supported by a network of open spaces, green corridors, paths, which respect the natural topography resulting from the agricultural traces and natural features that define the territory in which they operate, and which maximise the user’s experience for their enjoyment. The sensitivity of the proposal is expressed in the importance of the relationship between landscape, planning, urbanism and architecture established by its authors.

As for the REHABILITATION AWARDS, it included all those works of maintenance, conservation, restoration, reform, rehabilitation, restructuring and consolidation carried out on Listed Buildings or Buildings of Heritage Interest on Lanzarote and La Graciosa. In this case, three prizes were awarded in a single category. Prizes were awarded to the architect who designed the work and to the developer.

-1st Prize: “Consolidation and Restoration of an old house in Máguez”, a project carried out by José Adrián Bonilla González and promoted by Ramón Luis Gutiérrez Oliva. The first prize went to this intervention, mainly for the sensitivity and care of the work carried out. In the execution of this project, special care has been taken to conserve and consolidate all the original parts of the building, from its woodwork and colours, ironwork, mortar, decorative elements… The final result has been the restoration of an old house, providing it with all the necessary facilities to ensure proper comfort in accordance with the needs of modern life, but with scrupulous respect for the heritage values of the building.

-2nd Prize: “Emblematic Hotel” Casa de los Naranjos, in Haría, a project designed by Jesús Ángel Izquierdo Gómez and promoted by Begoña Pérez Mateos and José Antonio García García García. The refurbishment of the house of the López family, to which this emblematic hotel originally belonged and which is now called “Casa de los Naranjos”, is another of the most important refurbishment works that have been carried out on the island. Among other things, its woodwork has been preserved and restored with its colours, the original wooden floorboards, the stonework and its important library… all of this combined with the facilities and services required by a hotel establishment of this category. This is a clear example of the economic possibilities that the rehabilitation of heritage can offer, as well as the positive impact it can generate at a local level.

-3rd Prize: “Casa Betancort” in Arrecife, a project carried out by Alejandro Muñoz Luis and promoted by Lourdes Betancort González. The refurbishment of this house in calle Brasil in the island’s capital has meant recovering a building that was totally in ruins and giving it a second life without forgetting its past and history. It is an extremely delicate intervention that has been able to enhance the heritage values of the building with an eclectic façade and hydraulic floors of great plasticity. The transcendence of this work is not limited to the building itself, but its dimension goes much further, highlighting the enormous potential of our capital’s heritage as an element that generates urban quality.

The jury noted the high quality of most of the projects submitted. COALZ wanted to thank all the architects for their participation.

The COALZ, in is five and a half years of existance, has established itself as a place for meeting, debate, defence of the profession, training, dissemination, agreements, commitment and closeness to society. As a highlight of their activities, watch out for their “Semana de la Arquitectura”, a week of events open to the public which include conferences, free guided walks – a different town or village is picked every year in different municipalities – and a photography contest. It usually takes place in October and you will find all the details on our What’s On section

COALZ – Colegio Oficial de Arquitectos de Lanzarote