Landscape Architecture, Ecological Restoration and Planning
Plymouth Meeting: Gathering Terrace & BioSwale
The Plymouth Monthly Meeting envisioned a future where they could meet outdoors at their historic meeting house (1708). They contacted SED Design to help them realize this vision, and Seiler+Drury Architecture to provide a new doorway to the space. Working closely with this actively engaged and energetic group of people, we created an outdoor terrace that subtly blends with the historic meeting house and that provides ample space for the Monthly Meeting’s program. The terrace wall at seat height offers meeting space on the lower lawn while the terrace design allows for various meeting configurations and also incorporates benches. Using ramps, stairs and new walkways, the design solves grading/elevation issues while allowing accessibility from the new doorway and the surrounding landscape. The design provides native planting areas and incorporates lighting to highlight the space beautifully in the evenings.
At the same time, the Plymouth Monthly Meeting was experiencing drainage issues in the area where the new terrace was to be located. Rooftop stormwater had not previously been comprehensively managed. Between the new terrace area and its natural stormwater outlet, the Plymouth Meeting Friends School’s outdoor basketball court and play area is located. Beyond this area, a forgotten and eroded drainage ditch had been carrying the combined runoff through the school’s landscape.
There was a real opportunity for a return to nature’s balance and beauty here, in the domain of the Plymouth Meeting Friends School’s children. After studying the possibilities and the stormwater volumes, SED Design proposed removing an old hedge and metal fence to make way for a sinuous, riverrock-lined “stream.” The stream incorporates a series of check dams to slow the velocity of stormwater during large rain events. It also incorporates rocks and boulders of various sizes to lend natural beauty and to pique the curiosity of young minds. A new headwater wall at seat height provides surface stormwater pass-through during rain and, when it’s dry, a place to rest while enjoying this new area.
In working together with the Plymouth Monthly Meeting, the Plymouth Meeting Friends School and Seiler+Drury Architecture, the vision of a subtly beautiful terrace for meetings and a return to more naturally managed stormwater has been realized.
A comprehensive master plan for the Elementary School of Neptune, NJ that brings many integral aspects of sustainable landscape architecture. A LEED Platinum School sits on a native plant campus that included an arboretum, bioswale, and greenroof. The entire site is a lesson in leading by example.
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Native Plant Arboretum Natural Area PDF
NMCES Master Plan PDF
Sustainable Wetland Garden
The garden sits in the Universities Arboretum as a demonstration of environmentally sensitive design. It showcases an example of form extracted from function, minimizing impacts on the local and regional watersheds. An aerial aquaduct conveys roof run-off to a wetland bio-filter, where it is combined with surrounding stormwater, which then in turn is cleansed by plants with this proven purpose of bioremediation. As an expression of form, the aquaduct is power by a solar photovoltaic panel which pumps the water through the aquaduct making it an aesthetic feature in the garden when it is not serving it main purpose of conveying rainwater.
An exciting opportunity to think outside the 'sand' box. SED took a unique approach to a truly 'all natural' playground. This minimalist playground capitalizes on topography and local resources to provide children and grownups alike with a place to recreate.
'Ideally, school nature programs will go beyond curriculum: they will involve incorporating nature into the central design.'
Richard Louv, authour "Last Child in the Woods"
Schools are beginning to realize the benefits of putting as much into their exterior spaces as they do their interior. Exercise and engaging landscapes not only provide much needed outlets for the children, but they also promote environmental stewardship and sensitivity toward the natural resources of the site.
Teaching Sustainable Design
The landscape master plan for the Plymouth Meeting Friends School creates an interactive learning environment that invites interest and curiosity. Many of the design features are intended to create a greater connection between students and the encompassing environment. In addition to making a safe spaces for children to engage in play and outdoor learning activities, the design promotes environmental stewardship and sensitivity toward the natural resources of the site. These design features will promote greater respect for the natural world and landscape around us.
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Community Trail Network
Situated adjacent to the Summerfield School, SummerWood is an educational resource that is integrated into the school curriculum. The site was under constant stress from invasive species. SED helped design a plan that would help beautify a struggling ecosystem. The trail system not only creates a place for people to move through and become connected, but it raises awareness of this valuable open space, helping preserve it for generations to come.
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Educational Green Roof
The Neptune Midtown Community School Educational Green Roof Rooftop Garden, designed by S. Edgar David and Associates, is part of a platinum LEED building and the first green roof for the New Jersey School system. Each element of the school and the green roof garden is designed to be a teaching tool integrated with the school curriculum. The school, designed by SSP Architects, and green roof rooftop garden teach children principles of sustainable design and conservation through personal experience. By generating an awareness of environmentally beneficial opportunities through positive experiences children are empowered to shape their future.
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Historic Rutherfurd Hall is uniquely situated in the New Jersey Highlands overlooking the tranquil Allumuchy Pond. The house and property express the rich history of the Country Estate Era and the spirit of innovation.
The Master Plan for Rutherfurd Hall interprets the site’s unique place in American history while presenting the future of sustainability through the use of innovative technology and best management practices for the of the land and water which respect the environmental significance of the Highlands Region and Rutherfurd Hall’s unique site.
Visitors to Rutherfurd Hall will experience the inherent beauty of the landscape and its historic value through educational, environmental and recreational experiences.
SED Design worked with SSP Architectural Group, planning for the restoration and repurposing of the historic landscape after SSP completed the Mountain Villa Primary School, an adaptive reuse of Rutherfurd Hall's addition.
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Terrace & BioSwale
Greater Brunswick Charter School
Plymouth Meeting Friends School :
Neptune Green Roof