Turismo Rural: The Project Houses
Thanks to the Turismo Rural project, picturesque yet dilapidated ruins have been converted within the course of a few years into stylishly restored country homes that were restored in style and come equipped with modern conveniences.
After living in caves, which were inhabited by the Guanches until the 15th century, a style of architecture evolved that was free in design and only subject to the prevailing climatic and topographical conditions. The result is a typical Canarian architecture that is embedded in the surrounding landscape, coexisting in perfect harmony.
For generations, the people have been constructing their houses in this timelessly elegant style, which is very open to nature. Most homes on the steep island face the ocean, with sloping gardens in front and a breathtaking view of the surrounding landscape. High, wood-framed windows and doors open out onto a terrace or garden, which more often than not is used as a kitchen garden. In the smaller houses, the rooms are traditionally arranged in a line, and every room has its own door into nature, e.g. to a terrace with its little walls that runs along the house. Most of the time, the doors and the interior wooden shutters are divided into numerous parts, and the individual wings can be opened separately, in order to regulate the amount of sun and wind entering the house. The same applies for the beautiful windows, made of wood and glass components.
The residents were building owners and craftsmen rolled into one. The buildings were constructed to satisfy human needs and reflect a simple, clear style, in which naturally-occurring materials were used. Natural stones and "tea" were available in abundance. Tea is the particularly hard heartwood of gigantic old pines and is resistant to moisture, exposure to the sun, and parasites.
Tiled roofs, which consist of open, artfully drawn wooden beam ceilings in the interior and frequently span numerous rooms, are a special aesthetic architectural element. These open up an expansive view, right into the high gable of the roof. In these rooms one has an increased sense of space while simultaneously feeling cosy and protected like in a tent. And the stone-made window seats radiate a graceful and romantic charm. They are called "enamoradosas". These window seats might take their name from the fact that love-struck couples could sit opposite one another at the window, simultaneously enjoying the beautiful view of the object of affection and that of the landscape! Even today, you can still see older men and women sitting at the window in this manner, making handicrafts, e.g. rolling cigars or embroidering. Many houses also have built-in shelving and cupboards that are tastefully embedded into the stone walls, which are up to 50 cm thick. And in some kitchens, large Canary chimneys from the old days have been maintained above the modern stoves. Traditionally, a large cistern is found off to the side in front of the house. Today, it is often covered with beautiful wood and can be used as an additional terrace. All houses have wooden flooring or beautiful, carefully selected tiles and elegant bathrooms.