With two live-in chefs and countless inter-connected food and waste systems, the Future Food System’s Greenhouse may very well be a blueprint for how we’ll live in the future.
By Michael Harden
Apr 26, 2021
“The whole project is about the food,” says Bakker. “The way we grow, harvest, transport, sell and eat our food is the most destructive human activity on the planet and so I wanted to create the biggest little ecosystem in the world in a domestic space. Our buildings must become part of food production and, because food production starts with the soil, I used that idea to reverse engineer the house.”In a conventional house, a lot of money and energy goes into the foundations so the house doesn’t blow away. Here the house doesn’t penetrate the ground. It arrived in three sections on the back of one truck and was anchored by 30 tonnes of soil in the garden beds on the upper floors. The stability and the viability of the house is all due to the garden.”
This is not Bakker’s first Greenhouse rodeo, but it is his most ambitious. Since 2008, previous incarnations of Greenhouse in Melbourne, Perth and Sydney have seen it operate as both a permanent and pop-up restaurant, introducing concepts of zero waste and closed loop food systems. But, after subsequent sustainable restaurant experiments in Melbourne (Silo, Brothl) failed to fire, Bakker found himself at a crossroads.
“2015 and 16 were really bad years for me,” says Bakker. “I was thinking, we’ve done all this really great work but there was only a really small number of people looking at tackling the problem. The wider world did not seem interested at all. Now there’s a shift and I see so many solutions in the way we grow food and the way we live. The potential of what we can do if we all get involved in our food system energises me. That’s what this project is all about: upcycling our waste and turning it into food.”
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