After an exciting reception in Melbourne, designer Joost Bakker teamed up with seasoned Perth based restaurant and cocktail professional Paul Aron, and their close friend Jason Chan (2005 Age Barista of the year and owner of Melbourne’s Seamstress and Batch) to offer up a mouth watering ‘new kid on the block’ in Perth’s CBD.

Greenhouse St. Georges Terrace hopes to be one of Perth’s most exciting destinations, with the emphasis on tasty, honest food and drink, and some simple ideas for a considerate and non destructive lifestyle.

Like its predecessor, Greenhouse St. Georges Terrace has its frame made from roll formed steel coil. Its cladding and surfaces, raw and unashamed, are made from plywood and recycled plastic. Hundreds of straw-bales in the walls and ceilings provide insulation. Vertical gardens spill greenery from the walls, and an abundant roof-top garden produces fresh ingredients for the kitchen and bar, and provides a serene place to escape the rat race.

With the natural essence and quirky beauty of Joost Bakker’s design at the heart of this building, Perth’s Greenhouse offers a variety of spaces, fixtures, objects and atmospheres to warm your heart and nourish your soul.

The concept…

The Greenhouse is about designing and operating better places for people. Places that let us touch natural materials, understand where everyday things come from and taste fresh food straight from the garden.

Designers, engineers, builders, scientists, farmers, chefs and others are among those whose knowledge and advice have gone into every aspect of creating the Greenhouse, from the lighting, to the menu, to the fresh baked bread and the worm farm. The Greenhouse aims to harness the growing understanding of the human footprint to offer alternative solutions that tread a fine balance between functionality, sustainability and beauty.

All the features of the Greenhouse are carefully considered first for their practicality, recyclability, life cycle and embodied energy and then for their aesthetics and cost. By putting each decision through this rigorous process, it is hoped that the Greenhouse can provide information and examples to builders, designers, restaurateurs and the public, regarding their daily choices of materials, ingredients, and practices.

Nobody ever convinced anyone of anything by shouting it at them. We hope that we can quietly share some of what we have learned, and let the results speak for themselves.

Productive building…

The Greenhouse St Georges Terrace uses the Productive Building system developed by Joost Bakker. This system includes some of the concepts outlined below.

• Use recycled and/or recyclable materials

• Built to be easily dismantled and recycled

• No use of chemical or harmful treatments on surfaces and in materials

• Minimize ecological footprint through careful consideration of sourced materials, their lifecycle, and the buildings operation and maintenance

• Encourage a new perspective on building and the function of buildings as a productive place that can harvest food, water and energy, and can improve the local environment for people and animals rather than exploiting it

• Building can be made, transported and assembled quickly and efficiently minimizing the transport of materials, keeping costs low, allowing unskilled labour to assemble

• Building design is flexible and adaptable to variety of environments and applications and can use all locally sourced materials.

Productive building method

• Steel frame is made from roll formed 1 mm steel coil, processed through a Framecad roll-forming machine and screwed together on site with galvanized steel screws

• Steel frame firstly clad in plywood for structural integrity and to create a thermal barrier

• Wall and roof cavities filled with straw bales sourced from grain farmers near Dumbleyung in the West Australian wheat belt. The frame is designed to fit these straw bales tightly and lock them in place

• External cladding of corrugated iron covered with a vertical wall garden made from steel mesh and terracotta plant pots

• Internal fit out, installation of windows and doors and creation of rooftop garden


• Steel

- 100% Recyclable, steel takes only 25% of the energy to recycle into another product once itexists, than it took to initially extract/create it

- Fast and easy to assemble

- Accurate, lightweight and extremely strong

- Allows for minimal material use given its strength

framework 2

• Straw Bales

- One of the world’s most problematic waste products

- Can be sourced most places in the world from many different types of grain, including wheat, barley, rice.

- Fire safe and long lasting if kept dry

- Very high insulation rating

- (Alternatively walls can be insulated with soil, recycled paper, plastic, etc. where straw is not available).


• Plywood

- Sourced from plantation trees that are generally young and fast growing.

- Can be recycled into chipboard, wafer board, etc.

- Provides great strength to frame when engineering a building where loading is a consideration (if rooftop garden is used).

- Provides thermal barrier between external surface, steel frame/straw, and internal space.

- Can be left untreated internally.


• Corrugated Iron

- Like steel is recyclable

- Nests low volume in transport and is therefore efficient to move

- Long lasting and tough, makes for ideal exterior cladding


• Galvanized Steel Screws

- Can be recycled along with steel frame

- Allows for easy dismantling of building on demolition

- Can be used by unskilled labour to assemble entire building

the most valuable tool on site

• Plaspanel- (Some Bar and Kitchen Surfaces)

- Manufactured from recycled plastic waste in high density polyethylene (HDPE) and can itself be recycled

- Waterproof so does not rot, swell, delaminate, deteriorate or absorb moisture.

- Comes in variety of vibrant colours

- Australian made

The features, facts and figures…

• Rooftop garden provides produce for the kitchen and bar and uses energy efficient LED grow-lights to stimulate the growth of plants due to the largely shaded site

• Drip irrigation waters garden. Water used on rooftop garden filters through soil and sand and collects in the bottom of Schutz bins to be re-used.

• Water from kitchen and bar is recycled in this system too

• Worm farms holding thousands of worms process organic waste from the bar and kitchen and provide rich vermicast for use on the garden

• Products and material used in the operation of the premises are sourced locally when possible and consideration is given to their sustainability, practicality and life-cycle

• Straw bales insulate the building to keep a stable temperature

• The bar top i made from recycled plywood from the floor of the Greenhouse by Joost. Cushions in seating made from natural latex with leather (rescued from the scrap heap) covering. Ice buckets made from old gas cylinders, fencing wire light-shades, reclaimed plastic palettes set in 70% recycled concrete, etc

• The Greenhouse has a licensed capacity of 120 people

• There is approximately 7 tonnes of steel in the Greenhouse’s frame and over 40,000 screws holding this frame in place. The frame supports approximately 7 tonnes of weight, including the rooftop garden, which includes herbs, vegetables, fruit trees and plants housed in discarded Schutz DSL Ecobulk liquid bins (to allow for re-use of excess garden water runoff) and a worm farm for recycling organic waste from the kitchen and bar

• The Greenhouse has around 420 straw bales in its walls and ceiling

• The exterior of the building is clad in corrugated iron covered by a vertical garden with about 4000 terracotta pots filled with ivy and strawberry plants

• Furniture (designed by Joost Bakker) includes tables made from the plywood floor of the Greenhouse by Joost (Federation Square, Melbourne 2008-09), chairs made from old road signs, bar stools/tables made from wafer board recycled from old wooden palettes, and light shades made from reclaimed fencing wire.

The team…

Joost Bakker

Joost Headshot

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 ways. Working exclusively with the discard of human activity he has fashioned such extraordinary forms that the word ‘rubbish’ has risen from the scrap heap.

Joost took the opportunity to create a temporary installation in Melbourne’s Federation Square in the summer of 08’-09’. The Greenhouse was a huge success and the search began for the perfect place to give it a permanent home.

Matt Stone

Matt Stone Headshot

Matt started cooking in Margaret River in 2002 and began an apprenticeship at Leewin Estate in 2003.

After moving to Perth an working in all sections of the kitchen at Star Anise he was appointed Sous Chef at the age of 20.

His love of food and cooking took him to Asia and Europe where he discovered new ingredients and styles of cooking.

In 2009 Matt assisted in the development of Pata Negra before joining the Greenhouse as Head Chef of a young and dynamic team of enthusiasts.

Matt’s creative influence and refreshing menu has already earnt him and his team highly regarded awards, the 2011 Gourment Traveller Best New Talent and the 2011 Good Food Guides Best Young Chef. But he’s just getting started….

Courtney Gibb


Originally from Denmark in Western Australia’s great southern region, Courtney came to Perth and began an apprenticeship under the guidance of Russell Blaikie at Must.

After qualifying as a chef, Courtney went on to Star Anise where his love of pastry and Thai influenced food grew.

Courtney has been sous chef at the Greenhouse from the beginning in 2009. He has fine tuned the process to create our rustic Greenhouse sourdough, pizza dough’s, cakes and we can’t forget his fresh doughnuts which fill the cafe with the smell of warm cinnamon and sugar each day.