Greenhouse by Joost popup

The pop-up cafe & bar ‘Greenhouse by Joost’ has arrived at the Rocks in Sydney.

I had the pleasure of grabbing a bite down there with some friends from work last week, and we were all thoroughly impressed.

Joost Bakker is an Australian designer (of Dutch heritage) with a penchant for juxtaposing nature and industry.
His creation, Greenhouse, is a cafe & bar which is built entirely of recycled and recyclable materials including old shipping containers, straw insulation in the walls and furniture made out of old irrigation pipes and packing crates.

But that’s just the beginning… Water is collected on site, waste is recycled, ingredients are grown on the roof and even the generator runs on cooking oil. Meals are served on roughly cut sheets of ply wood, the cutlery is also made of recyclable timber, drinking water is served in recycled glass jars, beer is served in recycled beer bottles with the tops cut off and it’s all served by waiters wearing recycled clothing from St Vincent de Paul.

But this isn’t a retail experience for hippies. This is eco friendly design without compromise. The food is great. The beer is cold. Although it was a hot day the venue was pleasantly cool. And the views of the Opera House and Harbour Bridge are simply spectacular.

Everything about the space is inspiring. Every detail has been thought through. It’s both smart and beautiful.
Retailers often ask me about the importance of being eco-friendly… Do customers really care? And my answer is, yes.. as long as it doesn’t cost them. So it’s best to think about environmentally friendly retailing from a total business point of view. How can you use it to reduce your operating costs (power / logistics / etc) and drive preference for your brand? Greenhouse by Joost proves that it can be done.

At the end of March, Greenhouse will be repacked into its shipping containers and will pop up throughout Europe during 2011. Next stop – Milan.