Artful eco-cafe sets the scene green

JOOST BAKKER’S new temporary cafe at The Rocks may be one of the greenest buildings on Earth.

Named ”Greenhouse by Joost”, everything about the installation artist’s cafe has been created using inexpensive recycled or recyclable materials down to glasses made from sawn-off beer bottles and uniforms sourced from the Salvation Army and election campaigns past.

Bakker stands inside a shipping container, a row of jam jar lightbulbs illuminating his face as he explains the incredible structure around him. Furniture is made from old irrigation pipes and leather treated with vegetable dye, rubber floor tiles arranged in a herringbone pattern were once conveyer belts.

In the dining area a flattened wine bottle is used as a cheese tray – the neck now a handle.

”We … set out to build a place that was completely recyclable – made from steel, not wood, and had straw in the floor, walls and ceiling,” Bakker said.

The first eco-cafe prototype was developed by Bakker in Melbourne in 2008, a project that attracted millions of hits on YouTube.

Last year he was commissioned to build a cafe by the Sydney Harbour Foreshore Authority, a job that took just three weeks.

The design has caused some confusion among patrons – the toilets in particular producing furrowed brows.

Hand-wash basins inset in the toilet cisterns continue to flow until there is enough water to flush – minimising water use. ”We get people coming in and going, ‘Your toilet’s broken,'” he says.

Every detail of the building is the result of years of research, experimentation and tracking down the best materials.

Article excerpted from


About minesgreencircle

Founded in 2008, the Mines Green Circle is the special Green Environmental Unit of Palace of the Golden Horses and Mines Wellness Hotel for “Better Environment, Better Health”. It advocates green practices amongst the personnel of the Palace of the Golden Horses and Mines Wellness Hotels as well as its guests.

Posted on February 14, 2011, in Eco News and tagged , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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