21 January 2010

Perth CBD Good Enough To Eat

Excerpt from G Magazine, 19 January 2010

'Perth residents have welcomed a new, sustainably-designed addition to their inner CBD, with the opening of the unique 'Greenhouse' bar.

Not only is the garden and bar made entirely from recycled and recyclable materials, with floors made of recycled car tyres, furniture crafted from packing crates and retired road signs and old wire twisted into new lampshades, Greenhouse is good enough to eat - literally.

The exterior walls host 4,000 pots planted with cascading strawberries, and the rooftop garden grows many many of the herbs, fruit and vegetables that the European-style bar uses in its menu. Food scraps are fed back into the garden's worm farm, and there are even plans to start a beehive, which will produce the honey used in the Greenhouse's dishes.

Designed by Melbourne floral artist and 'waste wizard' Joost Bakker, the bar was originally conceived of as a pop-up installation in Melbourne's Federation Square. After a warm reception there, it has moved to Perth on a permanent basis.

Bakker...said he wanted to create a rooftop garden which was not only self-sustaining, but that would not leave a trace of itself once dismantled.

"The idea was that the building could be totally pulled apart and recycled - every single bit," he said.

As well as including heavily recycled and recyclable components, Bakker's realised vision also includes wall cavities filled with fire-safe straw bales, providing insulation for the building without the need for large cooling or heating systems...

For example, Bakker believes rooftops are an untapped resource which could transform the way we grow and consume food. He points out that regular suburban lawns take up lots of space and resources and are often covered by shade, which can make growing some fruits and vegetables difficult.

"The average house in Australia is 28 square metres, and if you just had the external part of the house planted with vegie bins, it would be enough to provide four families with," he said...'

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