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Charming Restaurant Built of Food Teaches Sustainability in Sydney Harbour

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A temporary restaurant illustrating sustainable design, Joost Bakker’s chic and fun Greenhouse, creatively fashioned from the detritus of human activity, is designed to teach green design techniques.
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The multidisciplinary Dutch designer believes that a restaurant can be a productive place that can harvest its own food, water and energy, and can improve the local environment for people and animals rather than exploiting it.
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The restaurant arrived in a discarded shipping container. Joost draws on his ‘horti-culture’ to make artful commentary on the world’s wasteful ways, using only “rubbish” – the discard of human activity.

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The building technique he has devised is unique and daring. Steel framing members are pre-shaped to enclose bales of straw. These are simply screwed together onsite. Local farmers supply straw bales for the insulation. Each bale can be simply dropped in from above, and slid into place.

But this radical technique is not being pilot tested here: Joost built his own house the same way.
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Next, a breathing, cooling skin of green wall is added, once the steel and straw structure is erected. It comprises many little terracotta flowerpots, each with its own seedling planted, shipped in rows, and now wired onto a frame.

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In a whimsical touch, these are actually edible plantings in the exterior wall, providing both climate control and food. The plant? Strawberries.
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In a bold departure from the usual level of recycling, both the bottles for the wines and the jars for the produce get washed and then reused in serving water or drinks to the restaurant’s customers. Just as the straw is sourced from local farmers, the spirits are sourced from local producers.
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The Dutch architect’s Productive Building system takes sustainable precepts to the Nth degree. Use recycled, chemical-free materials, hire local, and design a building system for easy assembly and dismantling, even by unskilled labor, and grow food right on the restaurant.

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A delicious lime juice cocktail is served with basil grown on top of the temporary restaurant. The simple re-purposed jam jar originally delivered tomato sauce to the restaurant.

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On the roof, basil, parsley and coriander are grown and used in recipes served inside. The Greenhouse made a brief stopover in the Sydney Harbor this Spring. Next it is planning a display in Milan.

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