industrial ecology precinct
REALMstudios were engaged to assist in realising the vision for a sustainable industrial precinct north west of Melbourne through a landscape master plan followed by development permit process. The project is centred around the concept of industrial ecology which recognises the wastes of some industries as inputs to others and aims to utilise these in closed loop systems. The landscape is an integral part of this ecological system processing storm water and producing coolth, biodiversity and reprieve for visitors, passers-by and staff from the large-scale infrastructure.
The design is grounded on a recognition of Country which generates an intelligent and efficient approach to land development. This approach is expanded through a series of design principles:
Country - Minimize impact and waste including consideration of topography, geology, hydrology and ecology.
Sponge - Prioritize distributed water infiltration, passive irrigation, slow moving water conveyance.
Regenerative - Build upon existing ecosystems which regeneratively establishes a new/lost site system/aesthetic.
Carbon - Facilitate the sequestration of carbon into biomass and soils.
Smart - Build multiple values into otherwise benign infrastructure to innovate and create opportunity.
Inspire - Challenge conventional fencing, screening and buffering strategies to create a place that fosters collaboration, inclusion and pride.
Basaltic - Show how geomorphological pattern language can be read at multiple scales across the landscape with the use of a coherent place based material palette.
The site and landscape strategy moved beyond a traditional colonial aesthetic of turf and trees to be sympathetic to the unique character of the local vegetation that has grown successfully in Victoria’s volcanic plains for millennia. This involves using species that belong to the three major ecological vegetation classes evident on site; plains grassland, plains grassy woodland and lignum swamp. In addition to species selection a regenerative vegetation maintenance regime is proposed to facilitate the emergence of ecosystems that will support neighbouring conservation reserves.