zm environments are experienced in the design of playful landscapes and have a passion for ecological design. Zoe Metherell has a breadth of project experience having worked on projects as diverse as parks, playgrounds, libraries, zoos, open space master-planning, educational environments, heritage sites, schools, specialist schools, sensory gardens, wetlands, WSUD, ecological restoration projects, road and railways, foreshore and waterways, private gardens, country properties and green infrastructure projects.
Urban Ecology Park Scenario
Improved integration of ecological concepts into landscape architecture is essential for the growth of sustainable cities. Nature conservation in urban areas often focuses on remnant vegetation, however working with ARCUE and the City of Moonee Valley we undertook a design process to test the application of ecological concepts to an urban recreational park.
Our design demonstrates how urban parks can provide for both people and biodiversity. Key features include the increase in planting, particularly of understorey vegetation and an ephemeral moat that encircles a flowering grassland meadow. Wetland and grassland processes entwine when the moat is filled to form a buffer for ecological burns.
*Completed whilst working for Jeavons Landscape Architects
Clifton Hill Railway Project*
Designed ecological restoration of an urban valley associated with the construction of a new railway bridge. This project received an Australian Institute of Landscape Architects, National Landscape Design Award.
Client: Department of Transport
Landscape Architects: Jeavons Landscape Architects
Planners: Planned FX
Ecology: Ecology Australia
Soils: Peter May
Bridge design: MGS Architects
Arborist: Cameron Ryder
Construction: John Holland (Head contractor), Parsons Brinckerhoff (Structural engineers) Normark (softscape), The Planning Group (Softscape project managers)
Photos by Andrew Lloyd©
Growing Wild - Melbourne Zoo*
Interactive natural playspaces for children designed around four exhibit precincts - Meerkats, Giant Tortoise, Brush Turkey and an educational area.
Opened September 2012.
Client: Zoos Victoria
Design team: Jeavons Landscape Architects, CHC Architects, Arterial Design
Construction: Lloyd Group (Head contractor), Arcadia Landscapes (Specialist landscaping), JMAC Constructions (Bulk landscaping), Artists: James Cattell-Honeyweather & Speight, Nicholas Dunand-Propstuff.
The house and gardens of our friends at 'Lothlorien' near Marysville were sadly burnt in the Black Saturday Bushfires, however this provided an opportunity to redesign the whole property.
The new house is sited on a steep bank which required extensive grading. This has been manipulated to form sensuous contours and drainage is integrated naturally into the site. (This natural drainage line now forms a major, if not muddy, attraction for visiting grand kids!).
A sense of arrival is created with formal tree planting up a steep driveway and expansive views of the valley are revealed once reaching the house.
Practical issues such as orchards, food gardens, wood storage, tanks, dams and play areas are integrated into the design and the lawn is large enough for a game of 'front-yard' cricket.
Willam Garden - French Island
This property is sited on an immense French Island sand dune with views over Western Port Bay. The families' brief was for a garden featuring the local indigenous flora that would camouflage their cabin and sauna (designed by architect Vanessa Mooney).
Close to the house attention focuses on details and plants. Deeper into the landscape, paths cut through areas of re-vegetation, restored coastal heathlands and remnant woodlands, linking a series of open spaces. An almost impenetrable heathland is negotiated with a narrow winding path emerging at the highest point with a 'gin & tonic deck' for sunset viewing.
The design utilises differential mowing & slashing to define garden areas in a low maintenance style, blending sensitively with the surrounding landscape.
ZM Environments have designed a number of urban courtyards and gardens. Each of these spaces is highly unique - designed to reflect each clients needs. When spaces are small it is important that all parts of the garden work harmoniously. Sustainable materials and consideration of water sensitive urban design are incorporated where possible.