El III Congreso Internacional de Arquitectura, Lanzarote



Workshop topic:  “EL VIENTO” (THE WIND)


This congress and workshop were organised by the Centros de Arte, Cultura y Turismo del Cabildo de Lanzarote together with the Museum of International Contemporary Art (MIAC) in Arrecife, Lanzarote. The Staedelschule Frankfurt with Oliver Tessmann and Anton Savov, ETSA of Las Palmes with Juan Palop and the IAAC Barcelona with Marta Male Alemany contributed to this event. About 30 Master Students participated in that event in order to approach architecturally the impact of the wind at the Lanzarote Island.  As strong influence, the wind shapes not only the landscape but also the life of people in Lanzarote.

The workshop was dedicated to environmental research and the exploration of the island of Lanzarote. We were invited to explore unique natural sites such as the National Park “Timanfaya”, the Famara Beach or the salt refineries where we observed and discovered significant environmental issues that served as initial inspiration for a design proposal related to wind as driving. 

Ecological Adventure Park 

Design proposal with Patricia Acosta, Maria Eftychi, Luis Fraguada, Verena Vogler

Salt refineries are agricultural territories for salt production with significant economical and traditional importance for Lanzarote. For instance the Salinas of Janubio are the largest salt refinery of the Canary Islands. In the past, these salt farms were sustainable facilities empowered by windmills that pump seawater into multiple basins. Through the heat of the sun and strong winds the seawater in the basins evaporates and salt remains at the bottom. This type of production is highly sustainable because local abundant materials as salt dissolved in seawater and natural energy resources as the wind and sun are used. Unfortunately today electrical engines replace the ancient windmills and the Salinas’ importance is greater for tourism than salt production.

A natural version of salt refineries can be found along the coastline in lava cliffs formations. Natural holes washed out by the water and shaped by the wind are filled with seawater. When the wind distributes the seawater the heat of the sun causes evaporation, which lets salt appear at the bottom of the hole.


Inspired by natural and artificial salt production we proposed a combination of the functional logic of the salt refineries and the idea of a vivid landscape that offers leisure activities for people. Thereby we would like to contribute to the reactivation and expansion of sustainable salt production through windmills (100%) and to the education of visitors about environmental awareness in form of an “Ecological Adventure Park”.

In detail, we designed a digital tool that maps the most logical sights for these hybrid- installations.


1. Distance from the coastline, because the seawater is the major material

2. Direction and power of the trade winds that come from the northeast, e.g. their impact in the north of the island stronger than in the south

3. Distribution and the impact of the man- made infrastructure (cities, villages, agriculture areas)

Fig A shows offset of lines of the coastline. The distance between the lines is smaller near the coast -> smaller basins for salt production/ larger distances between the lines in the inland -> larger basins for leisure activities

Fig B shows the infrastructural centers of Lanzarote

Fig C these are some intersection points that were extracted from the three layers of grids on top of each other

Fig D shows a ZOOM, the site was picked randomly as example

We developed a script using Rhino Monkey, which connects the four closest points and converts them into a surface. Depending on the size of the surface area the surfaces get a different colour code, which encodes the depth of the area.

The correlations in this case would be:

1. the bigger the area, the darker the colour, the more profound the basin -> pool for leisure activities

2. The smaller the area, the lighter the colour, the more shallow the basin -> basin for salt production


Our design proposal for a specific sight includes sustainable empowered salt basins which are part of an activity landscape of pools for visitors.


During our stay at Lanzarote we visited different architectural highlights such as the works of the local architect César Manrique, who incorporated lava as natural material in his buildings.


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