The Canary Islands, lying low off the coast of Morocco, are Europe’s last outpost – a crop of grotesque volcanic islands springing out of the Atlantic Ocean with rocky slopes and beaches – alternately black and golden – and mysterious forests. There are underwater museums and rugged valleys where the local people have developed their own unique whistling language, a tantalising remnant of the culture of the island’s original inhabitants, the Guanche. And, I discovered this week, the islands are also home to a wealth of incredible local design.
Architect and artist Cesar Manrique is responsible for a slew of Barbarella-esque pleasure palaces hewn out of the rugged stone of the island of Lanzarote; there are plush Bond villain lairs carved out of caves, modernist sculptures and cactus gardens adorning the cliffs and lava flows and a nightclub in a tunnel with a cave full of blind albino crabs and a swimming pool reserved exclusively for the King of Spain.
Its a strange and wonderful contrast of Disco 3000 hedonism imposed onto an almost lunar landscape. Images taken from the website of photographer Alastair Philip Wiper, click on the link for some more amazing pictures.