This is one of the most representative architectural creations of Cesar Manrique that is expressed in the succession of artistic and architectural details, their enthusiastic project to integrate art and nature.
El Risco de Famara is a large cliff that develops longitudinally along 22 kilometers from Punta Fariones, the far north of the island, to Morro del West, near Teguise. Throughout his terrain is reached the point of highest elevation of the island, Peñas del Chache, of 671 meters. The vertical alignment of Risco runs almost parallel to the coast of La Graciosa, which is separated by a narrow strip of sea called the River. Of great environmental interest the Risco de Famara, La Graciosa islet and next to it, including the seabed, forming a unit declared Natural Park of the Archipelago Chinijo.
It is located between two geological features especially significant: on one hand the impressive Risco de Famara and the other, the Corona Volcano, which extend into the arms of the great semicircular plaza leading into the building.
This important building is barely visible from the outside because, in a subtle maneuver camouflage, hiding his skin structure under a heavy stone that blends with the environment.
Located on the outside, highlights a figurative sculpture of wrought iron. Represents a fish and a bird. It is a metaphor of two elements of nature that have a strong presence in this landscape: water and air.
To the inside is accessed through a winding corridor where are located niches decorated with traditional pottery made by the craftsman of Lanzarote Juan Brito. After crossing this suggestive entry we find two large vaulted spaces, in which are placed two large glass windows -"the eyes of the Mirador"-, which allow one to contemplate the beautiful view from a privileged position.
The two windows horizontally concave and slightly obliques vertically, increasing the effect of panoramic view, while allowing the enclosure is flooded with light and communicating the interior and exterior space favoring nature.
In this space we find two monumental sculptures made with original rods and plates of iron. These sculptures, suspended from the ceiling, fill the vaulted space and are intended to sift the sound, preventing reverberation.
From a café area where you can access the upper floor via a spiral staircase of dynamism for the use of curved lines. Like the rest of the building, has the two-color color timber and blank of the masonry. On the first floor we find a souvenir shop, a definitely stay original. In this space we located a small unit where a small window shaped oculus from which we can see in the background, the Corona Volcano. Continuing the staircase leads to the roof terraces through a skylight that sits atop the building.
From the vaulted main hall, described above, we can also access an outside balcony that hangs over the abyss, highlighting the perimeter railing made of iron and wood facade gives this the appearance of the bow of a ship. Symbolically, the island would become a sailing ship, heading north on the Atlantic.
In bright and clear days, we can see the splendid view of the natural park of the archipelago Chinijo.
Can see first the island of La Graciosa, Montaña Clara are behind and Roque del Oeste and in the background, Alegranza and Roque del Este. From the viewpoint shows the base of the cliff of Famara and highlighting red color, the oldest salt mines of the island, the Salinas River or Guza.
Works began in 1969, the building was inaugurated two years later. The technical implementation of the work was done by the architect Eduardo Cáceres and artist Jesús Soto. The execution of the building was a display of technical planning, since it required the excavation of the site and subsequently make the building and cover it with volcanic stone. The strategic location of this place, which, like a watchtower allows a privileged view of a large area north of the island was militarily used since the late nineteenth century, when it built a coast defense battery during the Spanish-Cuban-American (the War of Cuba). Popularly this area of Risco de Famara always been known as "The Battery of the River".