Joost a Greenhouse

The photo on the wall reminds us of the 420 straw bales in the walls and ceiling that keep the temperature constant. Photo by Rita Bila

Café culture has become synonymous with sustainability across the country. Just take Kitchen by Mike, the Grounds and Cornersmith in Sydney for starters. Joost Bakker one of the earliest proponents of this movement continues to send his sustainability message through his ‘green’ building project ‘Greenhouse‘.

Every feature of the Greeenhouse is carefully considered and furniture is crafted and recycled from old materials. Photo by Rita Bila

Every feature of the Greeenhouse is carefully considered and furniture is crafted and recycled from old materials. Photo by Rita Bila

Started in 2008 as an installation project in Federation Square in Melbourne it is now permanently located in the business district of Perth on St George’s Terrace. The design includes a rooftop garden with irrigation system and LED grow-lighting, worm farm and composting. Lucky Perth! What better way to send the sustainability message than through our love of coffee.

The facade is clad in corrugated iron and 4,000 terracotta pots of strawberries. Photo by Rita Bila

The facade is clad in corrugated iron and 4,000 terracotta pots of strawberries. Photo by Rita Bila

Still sporting many of the original features since we saw it visit Sydney in 2011, the Greenhouse in Perth grows it’s own produce, makes it’s own honey, bread and hosts a range of sustainable building features making it environmentally friendly and generally a model for sustainable building practices and reducing your ecological footprint.

The light shades are made from reclaimed fencing wire. Photo by Rita Bila.

The light shades are made from reclaimed fencing wire. Photo by Rita Bila.

Constructed entirely from recycled materials with special attention given to their future disposal and recyclability one of the most distinguishing characteristics is the façade. Terracotta potted plants not only adorn the front of the building but also provide much needed produce for the café.

Tables and chairs made from plywood flooring from the original Melbourne Greenhouse and wafer board recycled from wooden pallets, designed by Joost Bakker, photo by Rita Bila.

Tables and chairs made from plywood flooring from the original Melbourne Greenhouse and wafer board recycled from wooden pallets, designed by Joost Bakker, photo by Rita Bila.

The idea of an urban garden in the middle of the central business district immediately grabs the early morning coffee seeker. While in Perth I certainly chose this café over and above any other. Filled with intrigue and attracted by the strawberry wall I was met with a curious array of interior features after I broached the straw bale filled walls surrounding the threshold.  Of course the staw is encased in the walls and not visible and insulates the building to maintain the constant internal temperature all year round and just as well – Perth can get mighty hot!

Artist, florist, architect, educator, designer, constructor and more – in this ABC interview with Greg Hoy for the 7.30 report, you will learn there is so much more to the man behind the Greenhouse – Joost Bakker.

Time lapse video of the Perth construction.

Time lapse video of the Melbourne construction.