In the Interview we talked with Architect Min Peniche of Arkham Projects, who answered us how the landscape has inspired them when designing a Restaurant.
Arkham Projects is a platform for the co- creation of dreams through architecture. Every project is a dream; a house for a family, a building for a developer, an office for an entrepreneur or a restaurant for a chef… Our vision revolves around this philosophy. We are a tool to fulfill dreams and turn them into reality.
We have a passionate and committed team led by Min Peniche, in creative direction, and Jorge Duarte, in business management. We are more than forty professionals from different disciplines that unite our talents to fulfill this purpose.
WHAT EXPERIENCE OR WHO CONTRIBUTED TO THE BIRTH OF LOVE FOR ARCHITECTURE IN YOU?
Architect Benjamín Peniche Calafell responds: I remember very well when my dad took me to the office of Architect Mario Peniche, he showed me the projects they were working on and what was behind each one of them; coming out of that visit I knew I wanted to be an architect. It would be a bit false to say that I loved architecture from the first moment I was studying it. What I understood as architecture when I started studying it and what I understand as architecture today has been changing. In the same way the love and affection I have for it has evolved. Today what I enjoy most about this profession is the opportunity it gives us to connect with other human beings and the power it has to generate emotions and experiences in people.
WHAT ARE THE PRINCIPLES THAT ARKHAM IMPLEMENTS IN THE CONCEPTUALIZATION AND DESIGN PROCESS TO MAKE CLIENTS’ DREAMS COME TRUE?
The process we have at the moment of conceptualizing and designing is to understand what is the intention we have with the projects, what we want to happen, instead of designing a space where we try to control and tell people what they have to feel, we prefer to do two things: first, generate scenarios where people can arrive, express themselves and make the place their own; second, generate atmospheres that through architecture channel all the energy of the site, whether through the sky, the ventilation, the views, etc., and enhance them so that we can enjoy them.
HOW HAS THE CULTURAL AND NATURAL LANDSCAPE INSPIRED YOU WHEN DESIGNING A RESTAURANT AND WHAT WORK EXEMPLIFIES IT?
Always the culture of the place where we are designing and the natural environment are and will be an influence on the way we design; from the ingredients that the chef will use to cook in the restaurant to the architectural envelope. For example: the Cienfuegos project is a restaurant based on using the elements we have at our disposal such as wood, clay, petrified wood, etc., transforming them and using them to generate atmospheres. In the case of the Villa Mercedes project, we made use of henequen, jicara and local crafts to help us generate scenarios where the gastronomic experience is enhanced.
WHAT HAS BEEN THE BIGGEST CHALLENGE WHEN DESIGNING SPACES THAT WILL BE USED FOR COOKING AND EATING?
One of the biggest challenges is finding a balance between functionality and aesthetics to make a restaurant have the perfect balance between atmospheres and experiences without sacrificing the safety, hygiene and operation of the restaurant.
WHAT IS THE IMPORTANCE OF INCLUDING NATURAL ELEMENTS IN A RESTAURANT?
To the extent that we can integrate natural elements in our restaurants, it helps us to enhance the story we are trying to tell and helps to generate atmospheres and environments that feel much more real and warm, unlike doing something artificial.