World Environment TV
|The Greenhouse||| Print ||
If you think guerilla gastronomy is a load of old rubbish – then wait‘til you see what’s been dumped in Melbourne’s Federation Square.
The Greenhouse by Joost is an Australian first in sustainable design and innovation. Built entirely from recycled and recyclable materials this pop-up event venue is completely self sustained and is made entirely from detritus.
'The Greenhouse' came as an artistic and intrinsic response to waste in the events industry, challenging the current vernacular on minimizing our impact on the planet, whilst dishing up degustation fare (in part dug from the garden of its own roof-top space) and operating as a unique gallery, café and bar. The imperative of this ‘waste of space project’ is to show how simply trash turns into treasure with minimal cost to the pocket and at no cost to the planet setting example to a city on how simple and straightforward sustainability practice can be if each individual gives a thought to the life-cycle of the things they consume. Born into a dynasty of Dutch flower growers, Joost is a discipline-crossing creative who constantly draws on his ‘horti-culture’ to make artful commentary on the world’s wasteful way.
Joost was pushed by event entrepreneur, Corina Baldwin of ‘bigger than ten bears’, his co-collaborator on some of Melbourne’s most memorable events, to take up the opportunity of a three month tenure at Federation Square to dial up the ‘waste’ principles on which his own home is built in one of Melbourne’s prominent public spaces. Extrapolating the experiment of his own home, an extraordinary pot-plant veiled structure made from straw bales and furnished entirely and exclusively with the discard from and with other’s waste, Joost decided to take the opportunity to project its possibilities into a more commercial structure in a dense city environment. Conceiving a building made from straw bales - one of the world’s biggest and most problematic waste products - set into a 100% recyclable steel framework (uncoiled and cut on site), he envisaged a ‘Greenhouse’ that whilst serving as a platform for Spring to Summer exhibition that would serve to instruct a city on how simple and straightforward sustainability practice can be if each individual gives a thought to the life - cycle of the things they consume. And so it began, The Greenhouse was literally dumped and built within 14 days in one of Melbourne's most prestigious cultural locations', Federation Square.
As the structure had not been built before, the best one could describe and illustrate the project is by illustrating the materials, methods and contributors to the project – the recycling guy, the compost man, the builders, the raw ingredients, the food, straw bails, steel, the furniture, the fittings… Hundreds of hay-bales were set into a steel-structure rollformed on site, one truck delivering a machine capable of making all parts as opposed to the eight trucks required to move the factory made equivalents. Enlisting the material donation and promise of voluntary labour from all manner of like-minded industry and individuals, Joost took his Waste of a Space idea – with its floors of deconstructed shipping crates, feature wall of wild strawberries planted in old plastic palettes, tables fabricated from redundant fire hydrants, beverages served in re-cycled glassware (jam-jars), chairs of re-structured street signs and shadecloths woven from tiles discarded by the Melbourne Cricket Club and ‘de-registered’ shopping trolleys – to officials at Melbourne City Council and expected the bureaucracy to baulk at the precedent. Now the Question was “Who’s going to rubber-stamp a roof-top garden in Fed Square complete with compositing vats, a burgeoning vegetable patch, rows of bay trees in recycled CHEP bins and buzzing-alive bee-hives?”
But the director of design and urban environment at the City of Melbourne, Professor Rob Adams instantly saw in The Greenhouse a small salve to the heat island effect and an accessible, artful opportunity to make the public think about how technology, processes and materials are impacting on the planet and how they might make a difference. So the red-tape was cut through and planning went underway for its imminent launch. The Greenhouse by Joost will instantly deconstruct leaving not a single trace of waste. Plans are afoot in the very near future to take The Greenhouse to Milan for the Trienalle.
Author: Mai SAMAHA
WE Mag Issue: n.3, pg 82
Category: World News - Australia