Joost Bakker is building a habitable, closed-loop greenhouse at Birrarung Marr

Inner-city folk enjoying their daily exercise along the Yarra may have noticed a striking black structure emerging from the ground facing the river, just behind Federation Square. What they might not have noticed there is the presence of renowned activist, florist and all-around ideas man, Joost Bakker. In his latest daring project, Joost is building a habitable greenhouse that’s entirely self-sufficient from top to bottom.

The skeleton of the building is an enigmatic teaser of what’s in store. The greenhouse has been a long time in the making and is slated for completion in a few months. Among other features, it includes closed-loop systems such as integrated aquaponics, productive gardens, organic waste recycling and solar power. Joost is ensuring that every element of the project meets his strict sustainability standards – including a natural pool made from a repurposed shipping container.

Once its occupants move in for their temporary residency, the next phase will begin. Designed for a chef couple, the duo will subsist only on what’s grown on-site and have been preparing by looking into different fermentation processes. “We’ve been doing tonnes of experimenting,” Joost shares. The results of these and countless other experiments are, excitingly, soon to come.

We look forward to sharing the evolution of the greenhouse with you.

Those who can’t visit in person can follow the project’s progress via Joost’s Instagram and here.

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