An organic community
The guiding philosophy of the La Baraquette estate is to create a community that is full-integrated into the local culture (social life, architecture, traditions) and natural (flora and agriculture) environment. Rather than a top-down imposition, we’ve design the estate to grow organically out of the land and the village. To this end, environmental sustainability has been a priority, with every effort made to minimise the use of water and electricity, and not just main but encourage the natural habitats of indigenous birds and other animals.
Authenticity is green
Languedoc is surprisingly green for such a sunny, warm region, but during the dry summer months, water is at a premium. To reduce water-usage, only Mediterranean plans will be used in the properties’ gardens and around the estate. Banks of lavender, trailing rosemary, olive trees, rocket pines and Mediterranean oak will be used to create cool, verdant spaces that help the estate blend seamlessly into the Mediterranean ‘garrigue’ around it. Rainwater will also be collected - from all the roads, pavements and outside spaces within the estate, and stored in massive underground tanks to be used to water gardens.
All the buildings on the estate will be carefully oriented and designed to maximise light and minimise heat. Discretely-positioned solar panels will collect electricity. Ultra-efficient ‘heat-exchange’ heating and air-conditioning systems, coupled with the latest in insulation technology, will ensure all interior spaces are extremely comfortable while using up tiny levels of power. Similarly, high-tech LED lighting will illuminate without being power-hungry. And green construction materials will help to further reduce the estate’s carbon footprint.
Without cars, something magical happens
A ‘green’ environment is also one that is human-centric, one that promotes well-being, one where the pedestrian - not the car - is king. To that end, we wanted to make La Baraquette a car-free space, to reduce noise, air pollution and stress levels for anyone walking around the estate. A massive underground car park allows owners and guests to park close to their property, while clearing the estate of vehicles. To help you get around, we will be offering open-top electric Citroën Méhari (a superbly-retro throwback to 1968) and 'eBikes' for rent at our Concierge.
A good neighbour
Beyond La Baraquette, we’re working closely with Marseillan’s town council and environmental agencies responsible for the care of the Thau Lagoon. Far cleaner than normal sea water (oysters require super-clean water), the lagoon is highly regulated to ensure it remains a thriving habitat not just for oysters, but also for fish, shellfish, flamingos, herons and other many other species. La Baraquette will be built in a way that promotes the lagoon’s natural life cycles, and we’ll also be subsidising various environmental projects in the area to offset any of the negative effects of tourism beyond the estate.
We'll also be doing what we can to help boost the economy around us. For example, the oyster farmers of the lagoon currently sell their wares at prices that are too low for them to make a decent living. We'll be using PR to publicise the quality of the oysters here, working with local restaurants to develop exciting new recipes to boost demand and oyster farming revenues. And, of course, we'll be sending our guests to local seafood restaurants, boosting the industry further.
The town of Marseillan have asked us to minimise 'empty properties' - so we'll be working hard to rent out owners' properties at the resort throughout the year to ensure a steady stream of high-spending visitors to the area.
And at our Nautical Club, we're forging partnerships with people such as Stèphane Mifsud, world record holder in 'static apnea' (holding your breath under water), who will be running training courses and conducting water tours of the area.