Glass is the building material of the moment – providing incredibly attractive and practical exteriors that let the light flood in and allow stunning views.
Nieves Martínez has spent 35 years in glass. She’s in charge of Cristalería Managlass SA in Arrecife, which is one of the three parts of the CEPAL company (along with specialist metal and aluminium businesses), and she’s one of the main players in the sector on Lanzarote.
Glass is perfect for Lanzarote, and Manrique’s perfect window at the Mirador del Río and the modern glass and steel architecture at the island’s newer hotels show how wonderfully it can suit the environment. Nieves, whose company have just worked on the renovations at Jameos del Agua, points out that glass railings and balustrades are aesthetically perfect for outdoor spaces, allowing light to pass through and minimally affecting views.
But glass also allows heat to pass through, and on Lanzarote that can be a problem. Nieves says that there are plenty of solutions to this, from double glazing and tinted or solar glass that blocks rays, to more traditional solutions such as blinds and shutters.
“There are fashions in glass, of course, just as there are in other decorating areas,” says Nieves, who has been in the business long enough to know exactly what she’s talking about. Her company have installed the glass in many of the island’s most important and iconic buildings, from large public works to private projects of any size.
Right now, it’s all about shower screens, says Nieves “The lockdown has made everyone take a closer look at their homes, and plenty have made a decision to change their bathrooms. Showers are vitally important on Lanzarote, so that’s an obvious place to start.”
Another unexpected area of activity for Nieves has become protection screens that are now compulsory for many businesses dealing with the public. “Plastic gets damaged quickly and doesn’t give as good an impression as glass,” she says, pointing out that glass screens can be as cheap as €60.