Greenhouse by Joost – Melbourne

by Lucy Feagins, Editor
Monday 5th March 2012

Joost Bakker’s latest project – Greenhouse by Joost in Melbourne for the Melbourne Food and Wine Festival

Joost’s signature vertical garden cladding and herbs growing on the roof

You might recall we are pretty good pals around here with the supremely clever and prolific Joost Bakker.  (You may also remember the little movie we made about Joost’s Sydney Greenhouse last year).  Mr Bakker is a Melbourne-based multidisciplinary designer and champion of sustainable, ethical design and building practices.  He’s one hell of an impressive chap –  Joost gets more done in one day than what most would achieve in a week, and, amazingly, always with a beaming smile on his face!

This week Joost is back with another of his world famous pop-up Greenhouse restaurants – this time finally on home turf! Joost’s latest project has set up temporarily on the bank of the Yarra River at Queensbridge st in the CBD, as part of the Melbourne Food and Wine Festival.  As usual Joost and his incredible build team whipped the structure up from the ground up in about 3 weeks – and it’s only operational for 20 days!

The structure itself is of course instantly recognisable by Joost’s signature vertical garden of terracotta pots covering the entire facade of the building.  Beneath the surface, every effort has been made to ensure this building lives up to it’s name – the building is not reliant on mains power or water, all furniture and building materials are reclaimed or recycled, organic waste is composted on site and used to feed the herbs growing on the roof… and this year, a world first – Joost is, quite literally, ‘taking the p*ss’.  Yes you guessed it, urine from the public toilets on site will be harvested and turned into fertiliser.  I kid you not.  More info here.  Kinda gross, kinda amazing.

ANYWAY aside from giving the entire town something a little unusual to chuckle about, Joost is dead set serious on proving that a busy, successful restaurant run entirely waste-free and off-the-grid – and who are we to argue?  Mad, inspiring times as always Mr Bakker!  We love your work!

Details from the Greenhouse – mushrooms growing on tree trunks!  Also… love the cheeky staff T-shirts (read closely!), screenprinted by Spacecraft.
Herbs flourishing on the roof of the restaurant

by Lucy Feagins, Editor
Monday 5th March 2012


  • Margie 5 years ago

    so disappointed I missed the Sydney one… love the concept.

  • Brendan 5 years ago


    Joost… A.M.A.Z.I.N.G!

  • Sunshine & Daydreams 5 years ago

    Oh how I love this man!

  • Cate Burton 5 years ago

    Enjoy a candlelit dinner at the Greenhouse lit entirely by 100% pure Australian beeswax candles from Queen B. It’s the candle of choice for Joost because beeswax candles are the only non-toxic, carbon neutral, sustainable candles and being Queen B, they’re Australian made!

  • Kim 5 years ago

    I am quite positive about the way Joost challenges generla thinking around all things sustainable and interesting design pricinples and approach. They look great and tend to activate places well. But I was al ittle disappointed watching this one oncstructed as it was almost an entirely new build and little if any prefabrication off site thinking. Would be fabulous if he went a step fuirther now, and these ‘pop up’s were relocatable and more recycled than reclaimed. Well done thoughtJoost – keep pushing the boundaries

  • Julie-white tapestry 5 years ago

    Looks wonderful..I’ve been reading your blog for a long time and I just wanted to tell you how much I enjoy coming here;)

  • Nick 5 years ago

    Great concept and love the desgin and fit out. Go and have a look but I would not eat there again. Very over priced for what you get and tasteless bland food.

  • jasmine mansbridge 5 years ago

    It is great to see a unique approach to food production… I was most impressed by the idea of 44 gallon drums used to grow vegies…would fix my problem of having my chickens scratching up seedlings and making a general mess as they are a good height off the ground. Can anyone tell me where you might find these empty, clean and ready for a second life? Ps thanks for your wonderful blogging lucy

  • Cate Burton 5 years ago

    Hey Kim,

    Actually you will find that both the kitchens and bathrooms are entirely prefabricated off site. The whole point of the roll forming of the frame, straw bale insulation and MGO board cladding is how quickly it can be assembled on site. You must admit that even an entirely pre-fabricated building couldn’t be kitted out (yes, including kitchens, bathrooms, herb gardens, flooring, electrics etc) any quicker than it took them to build this stunning commercial building that is serving literally hundreds of people a day. You can find out more on Joost’s website –

  • Anthony 5 years ago

    Great work

  • Zoe Liebermann 5 years ago

    Hey Cate, I think Kim raised some very valid points and given you have a vested interest in the Greenhouse, (supplying your Queen B candles) your own opinion is obviously biased. Take a look at the build video on the joost website, the 3 week build creates a massive carbon footprint. I agree with your point about it being a “Commercial building” though.

  • Backyard Greenhouses 4 years ago

    Beautiful greenhouse!

  • Kaitlyn.L 11 months ago

    I think the idea for the Greenhouse is really creative! I love it! :D

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