Autor: Zen Architects

Practice Philosophy

Respect, knowledge and a consideration for people and the natural environment define both our work and our design philosophy. Within our architecture, we aim to realise each client’s unique vision while also maximising the potential inherent in each site.

Our interest in contemporary culture and construction technology ensures that our buildings provide unprecedented design solutions that function at the highest level for life.

Zen Architects is an award winning, Melbourne based practice with 29 years experience in the design and development of environmentally, socially and financially sustainable buildings. Our work is spread across Australia with a primary focus in inner Melbourne, the North and Eastern suburbs, coastal and rural regions of Victoria.

From inception to realisation our process exemplifies a high level of ecologically sustainable design in which ideas are tested, refined and followed through to completion.

Our construction knowledge is invaluable in developing accurate projections of cost and timing. This knowledge also plays an important role in our ability to determine the most viable forms, materials, finishes, systems and maintenance requirements for each project, ensuring that we both address the brief and meet the budget.

Through our commitment to supporting local design and manufacturing and in our efforts to bring affordable sustainable architecture to as many people as possible, we are not only a client-focused and forward-thinking practice but one that aims to positively impact the wider community.


Ric Zen
Before I knew the meaning of the word, I was drawn to architecture. In my mind, architecture had the potential to be as diverse, exciting and as magical as the natural world while remaining harmonious with the environment.

My formal education largely excluded environmentally sensitive architecture, as it was not valued. The resulting feeling of being different and of having different values continued throughout my early years, eventually leading me to form Zen Architects as well as undertaking various teaching positions at universities.

Born into an Italian migrant family of continental bakers, my upbringing was centred around the values of family and self-sufficiency. I thrived in the vibrance of the culture and the love of making things together while learning new skills along the way.

I have been pursuing architecture that delves into these fundamentals of life ever since.

The type of architecture I love is intuitive, diverse and inclusive. It respects people and place while also elevating the cultural experience. Its architecture that makes a difference while taking your breath away.

I am grateful for the opportunity to practice architecture, as every project brings the opportunity to design a better future for our clients.

Outside of Zen, my greatest passion is my family, although surfing comes a close second. I love everything about it. I wear the biggest smile out on the waves. It’s a minor miracle, like walking on water.

I hope to see you out there.

Luke Rhodes
Inspired by my childhood on a rural property in North East Victoria, the values of sustainable living and family are a continual presence in my work.

My studies were undertaken at the University of Canberra where I completed my Masters of Architecture in 2010. Following this, I was actively involved in the design and construction of large scale, high end commercial and multi-residential developments in the Canberra area.

The desire to work on more refined projects that focused on the end user drew me to Melbourne where I joined Zen Architects.

My interest in the myriad possibilities of light and volume, and its interaction with local, natural and tactile materials, drive my passion for designing environments in which families can thrive.

Outside of my work at Zen, sustainability, architecture and design are reflected in my daily life. My family and two dogs live in an architecturally designed, all-electric, 1970’s passive solar townhouse in Melbourne’s inner city.

Although fully invested in the inner-city life now, the country remains in my heart. Whether it is camping, fishing, sport, travel or photography, the outdoors is where I feel most at home.

Madeleine Ingham
My passion for environmentally conscious living developed from an early age. My childhood was spent in rural Victoria where I grew up in an off-grid home, an upbringing which later led me to pursue multidisciplinary studies in natural and built environments.

With a keen interest in climate change, social spaces and regenerative sustainability, my decision to join Zen Architects was driven by my desire to produce sustainable architecture that benefits people, their communities and their cities.

At Zen, my childhood experiences combined with my studies enable me to successfully demonstrate to clients the various ways in which sustainable living can be achieved without negatively impacting lifestyle.

When not at work, I enjoy spending time with my family, seeing friends, drinking wine, playing with other people’s dogs and barracking for the Richmond Tigers.


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