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Alien Landscapes

I love Lanzarote and have visited twice. The Island has been a substitute for the Lunar landscape on many occasions due to its dunes and fields of lava. The terrain really makes you question what makes a view beautiful; the absents of green just makes you focus your eyes on the extraordinary textures and hues. It really takes your breath away.

When I picture the Moon's surface, this is what I imagine but of course without the azure sky. Visitors to the Moon will want to experience the terrain on vehicular excursions and organized Moonwalks where they get a chance to kick up the regolith and leave their own footprints.

In EVAC Ignition, I designed a hotel complex overlooking the Apollo 11 landing site. In my EVACworld, habitation will be primarily underground, protecting the occupants from radiation and meteorite impacts but that doesn't mean there won't be a view. Built into the side of the crater, large glazed windows behind automatic shutters will overlook the Sea of Tranquillity and the preserved heritage site.

César Manrique

I f you are visiting Lanzarote, the César Manrique sites around the island are definitely worth visiting - they are beautiful oasis in the alien landscape.

My favourite sites are Taro de Tahiche, Jardin de Cactus in Guatiza, Cueva de la Verdes, Mirado ,  Jameos del Agua and the El Diablo restaurant in Tamanfaya National Park.

César Manrique was an artist and architect who created beautiful buildings, sculptures and gardens throughout the island. He was instrumental in the creation of Lanzarote's strict planning rules which have resulted in the island remaining unspoilt by careless developments. The low white washed buildings dot the landscape, enhanced by the rolling fields of black lava rock.

This image to the left shows Mirador del Rio, an old gun emplacement, transformed by César Manrique  into a minimalist restaurant with a view of the cliffs. This seamless design, blending natural rock and manmade glass inspired me with EVACworld's architecture.

Tara de Tahiche

Parts of Manrique's former home are underground, using natural lava caves to form 'bubble' rooms. I was amazed to see the window where the lava pours through.

Looking out at the lava field at the same height is intriguing.

I loved the way the natural rock was celebrated. To lighten areas the rock was painted white or bright colours, still showing the texture of the cave walls.

Manrique brought the outside in with tree planting, using the lava tubes as skylights.

When I designed the Magnificent Desolation hotel I made the decision not to include anything earthly. Although plants enhance any space I felt the Lunar experience should be just that; beautifully desolate.

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