Interview with Rodolfo Jacobson (González & Jacobson) and Mathieu Lèbre (Lema Paisajes)
It is very possible that you have noticed the huge construction site at the opening of Puerto Banús with the eye-catching banner simply emblazoned with the word, “Breathe”. It has created quite a stir with the locals, many of whom are wondering what is going to be the result of all this activity taking place behind the intriguing banner. Home & Lifestyle Magazine caught up with two key professionals involved with the project – leading architect, Rodolfo Jacobson (who has a string of prestigious projects as part of his portfolio, such as Hotel Río Real and Michelin-star restaurant El Lago, to name but a few) and Dom3 prize winner and landscape architect Mathieu Lèbre – to find out more about this ground-breaking project…
The brainchild of Marbella real estate entrepreneur Aguilene Benicio McNab, Breathe is an immense and unique project offering a gastronomic experience that has never been seen before in Marbella. The project, planned to be completed this summer, harmoniously combines earth, air, fire and water all around the building to create an idyllic natural oasis for the enjoyment of diners. González & Jacobson were picked as the architects for the project due to their meticulous attention to detail and their project management skills; while Lema Paisajes were hired for Mathieu’s ability to take on large projects and his excellent reputation in the marketplace. Architect Rodolfo comments, “Breathe is spread over three levels with three levels below ground allocated for car parking. On the ground floor, there will be a cafeteria, on the expansive first floor a restaurant and large outdoor garden, and on the top floor a sky bar. Our vision is to provide a lush and eco-friendly environment that breathes life, and evokes emotions and positive feelings – something completely different to anything you have seen on the Costa del Sol.” Mathieu adds, “There will be natural vegetation everywhere, which will consume plenty of carbon dioxide while making the air feel fresh and clean. There will also be a hanging garden and large planted trees, as well as one of the largest vertical gardens on the Costa del Sol. Sustainability plays an extremely important role in the design, which is why we are going to use hydroponic fertilisers that require much less water than normal soil, and fewer pesticides. Another way to conserve water was how we chose the species of plants – they were carefully selected so that they are not big water drinkers. We have also taken measures to recycle water by installing an underground water tank that collects rainwater and rejected water from the reverse osmosis plant, which will then be treated and used to irrigate the plants.” Another interesting aspect to Breathe’s dedication to sustainability is their own geothermal energy system. Thanks to 12×120-metre-deep holes drilled into the ground underneath the building, the system will create an environmentally-friendly heating and cooling system. Geothermal energy is a renewable source that is much more efficient than electrical energy and even air-source heating/cooling systems. Another way to conserve energy is in the use of special glass and walls to isolate the restaurant so that the temperature is more easily maintained.
The restaurant will be both east and west facing, so in summer crosswind ventilation will keep the restaurant cool naturally, reducing the use of electrical appliances. For the winter months, fireplaces have been designed to give a natural ambience, and the under-floor heating powered by the geothermal system will provide additional cosiness. Water will be a big feature at Breathe, with several different installations. Water will be lit up with LED lights, combined with fire installations and cascaded down steps where visitors can sit and relax. To conclude… Breathe will be a micro-environment in itself, providing a new green area in Puerto Banús that uses the latest in ecologically-friendly and sustainable practices while offering a contemporary and tranquil area for dining, socialising and enjoying a drink. For more information about Breathe, go to www.breathe.life or email firstname.lastname@example.org.