Joost Bakker: A Dutch Eco Garden Genius in Australia by

Issue 22 · Australia and Beyond · May 28, 2012

Joost Bakker: A Dutch Eco Garden Genius in Australia

Issue 22 · Australia and Beyond · May 28, 2012

If everything were recyclable, our problems would be solved, says eco-designer Joost Bakker. And by "everything," he means everything.

In Australia, where he's a first-name-only celebrity, Joost's popup Greenhouse restaurants have worm farms to process kitchen waste, straw bales to insulate buildings, and ice buckets made from castoff gas cylinders. Oh, and Joost also collects patrons' urine to fertilize a mustard crop, from which he'll harvest oil to generate power for his next restaurant. "It's so valuable—you only need the urine of 25 people to provide fertilizer for a hectare of crop," says Joost.

Above: Bakker's popup restaurant in Sydney featured the designer's furniture, including chairs made from repurposed aluminum irrigation pipes. Image via Crunchy Tiger. The decor included slogans like "Corn not porn" and "it's all about the soil."

Above: The exterior of the Greenhouse facade, covered with pots of strawberry plants. Since 2008, Bakker has been building restaurants that Australian Design Review describes as "exercises in sustainability." Image by Newtown Grafitti, via Flickr.

Above: At Joost's Melbourne restaurant, Caroma waterless urinals (L) and recyclable eco-toilets from Dubbletten. Urine—rich in nitrogen, phosphorous and potassium—is easily absorbed by plants when used as a fertilizer. Image via By Joost.

Above: At Joost's Greenhouse St. Georges Terrace in Perth—a permament restaurant—a rooftop garden provides produce for the kitchen. Water use to irrigate the garden filters through soil and sand, is collected in bins, and used again. Water from the kitchen and bar are similarly recycled. Image via Greenhouse Perth.

Above: Bay leaves destined for the menu. Image via Greenhouse Perth. (N.B.: To read about more things to do in Perth, visit the Perth City Guide.)

Above: Dutch-born Joost (pronounced “Yoast”) Bakker is a third-generation tulip farmer who moved to Australia at age 9. Image via The Design Files.

Above: At his country house outside Melbourne, Bakker covered the facade of the 7,900-square-foot structure with thousands of terracotta pots. Image via Vogue Living.

Above: Strawberries growing in a vertical garden designed by Bakker. (N.B.: On Gardenista, we're admiring smaller versions of his designs that he sells online.) Image by Newtown Grafitti, via Flickr.



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