The new Villa Marina Marketplace is establishing itself as the spot for dining, shopping and entertainment in Marina del Rey. The mid-century modern architecture plans called for a distinctive building design that would set the center apart as the future of retail in the area.Landscape Architects EPT Design, were asked by Callison to research living walls as a way to add some punch to the shopping center remodel (see the living wall sketched in the center of the illustration above). We worked with Scott Goodman at EPT Design to explore their options and after comparing our VGM Modular Living Wall System to other systems they recognized that the Tournesol VGM was the best fit for this project.The planting module attaches to stainless steel hanging rails, and once grown in it provides instant, complete coverage of the vertical surface. Using a broad pallet of plants gave the wall the splash of color that the architect was looking for.The general contractor on the project, Deacon Construction, contracted with Tournesol partner Instant Jungle to provide a turnkey living wall. The modules were grown in at Instant Jungle’s Santa Ana location (shown above). This is definitely one of our favorite greenwall designs with our VGM system. The wall surrounds outdoor rooftop dining and overlooks Marina del Rey from atop Marina Marketplace as part of their 419,000 square foot multi-million dollar redevelopment.Marina Marketplace is currently Registered with U.S. Green Building Council and is pursuing LEED-CS Certification on portions of the project.
Lessons from Boston
The ASLA Annual Meeting & EXPO is a highlight of Fall for us. We have the opportunity to introduce new products, reconnect with customers, business partners and friends. We knew that Boston would be a good one. We stayed in the Parker House hotel (home of Boston Cream Pie!), right on the Boston Commons. Sunday morning we were able to enjoy a delightful stroll around the public gardens – inspiring landscape architecture since 1837.
- Most of our customer seemed upbeat. Designers in the west and east coasts seem busy, especially with multi-family residential and hospitality work. We heard grumbling that architects are still bidding their services low!
- Lots of interesting new designs, lot of continued competition in our markets. Established players are introducing new looks at a brisk pace. There continue to be foreign manufacturers that see the U.S. market as a great opportunity. If the past is any judge, they may not stick around.
- Greenroof and living wall, previously considered “experimental”, are now being looked at for more conventional applications. As comfort grows with the technology, more players seem to enter the market!
- The most crowded place in the show was the bookstore – landscape architects have not abandoned tradional print media!! Continue reading
Our team is looking forward to the 2013 ASLA annual meeting & expo. We are bringing our A-game! We’ll have our entire sales staff and products to show what is new for 2014, revisit great installations from the past year, and introduce you to our complete line of landscape solutions for the urban environment. Please stop by and visit us in Booth 1021!
Here’s a sneak peek at some of the products we will be showcasing:
Green Wall Systems: The new VGP hanging wall system with a range of mounting options make this system perfect for indoor and outdoor installations. The lower price points make it a perfect system for light commercial and residential applications. In addition, we’ll be showing an important addition to our VGM modular living wall system – a VGM3 media block. The media block, a stabilized organic soil system, requires no media bag and leads to faster grow-in and more consistent irrigation. It’s the perfect complement to the industry-leading VGM system.
The Buzz Bench: All the buzz at Dwell on Design and featured at the Museum of Craft and Design in San Francisco, this is the first east coast visit for our new bike bench. Developed by Luxxbox of Australia, this heavy-duty powder-coated steel bench can hold up to 6 bikes and provides a resting and meeting place for those who travel through our urban environment. The asymmetrical design combines multiple benches to create a variety of configurations.
The Base Collection: Designed by Alexander Lotersztain, adds a touch of whimsy to cafe and al fresco dining. Simple and durable, the lightweight GFRC concrete table will hold up to the most demanding conditions, and its modern aesthetic works in any commercial, institutional or hospitality installation.
From living walls, lightweight pots and planters to drainage panels, paver supports and site furnishings, Tournesol Siteworks has been providing the landscape and architecture fields the tools they need to create inspiring spaces since 1979. We look forward to seeing you soon!
We had an exciting night last Friday at the Museum of Craft and Design in SF. Our Buzz Bench was selected to be part of the New West Coast Design 2 exhibit highlighting experimental works in traditional and new materials. We were thrilled to be included with the other architects, industrial and interiors designers, design groups and craft artists working with advance technologies. Curated by Kathleen Hanna and Ted Cohen, this exhibit “focused on the design process itself and how this impulse is manifested by a wide variety of individuals.”
In our case, it was the the humble bike rack that required a significant re-think. As our urban environment continues to develop, so too does activity around bicycle commuting. And so, the Buzz Bike Bench by Jason Bird of Luxxbox in Brisbane, Australia was developed. As a lifestyle element that can allow large numbers of bikes to parked and locked, it also functions as a meeting place for the urban warrior to sit, relax, or simply spend some time in the community – the Buzz of city life.
This week, San Francisco is the place to be for green walls and green roofs at
We are proud to once again be exhibiting at the Cities Alive Conference. As an inspirational and educational event for the green roof and wall industry, it features over 100 speakers, exhibitor showcase, professional development courses and “green” city tours. This industry-wide collaboration is a great opportunity to explore living architecture and see what the future holds!
Tournesol Siteworks continues to be a leader in the green wall field with exciting new innovations and installations. We look forward to seeing you at the conference this week, but in the meantime, here is a sneak peak at what it is all about – making an urban environment more green, healthy and beautiful.
Project: Juniper Networks of Sunnyvale, CA
RMW Architects of San Jose and Taniguchi Landscape Architecture of San Mateo contacted us about using our VGM Modular Living Wall on the new Juniper Networks parking garage. The structure is visible from across the campus including the outdoor patio spaces, and the goal was to enhance and soften the view of the parking structure. Continue reading
Sometimes a graceful planter is all you to brighten up your day or a cityscape. The City of Norwalk, CT wanted to bring some color to the business district and make it more inviting for people to visit.
Designed by the Norwalk Redevelopment Agency, it was a rather straight-forward project. The agency choose what they wanted from visiting our website, and then worked with our inside sales staff to flush out the details. They choose over 50 planters from our Downtown Collection. This classic collection, with distinctive curves, soft corners and tall, elegant proportions adds a modern flair to any project. In round, square and rectangular shapes, the variety of sizes are useful for flower and color displays.
The U.S. Department of Energy Solar Decathlon challenges collegiate teams to design, build, and operate solar-powered houses that are cost-effective, energy-efficient, and attractive. Since 2002 the event has expanded to currently include 65 participating teams and nearly 10,000 students in three competitions around the world.
For the 2013 competition, Perry Cordoza of Nuvis, and currently the President of the SoCa Chapter of the ASLA invited Site Design Studio to design a courtyard as part of the event. Site Design then enlisted us, along with other manufacturers, to “supply the tools” so they could “create the space.”
Included in our donation were our Willshire Collection rectangular planters in both Alarm and Apple, as well as a TerraScreen living wall system. Both were used in a courtyard entrance within the Solar Village. Thanks to Park West who planted up the planters and assisted with the installation. Continue reading
Celebrated as one of the highest vegetated walls in the Los Angeles area, the green wall at the Loews Hotel in Santa Monica, CA is a spectacular design by Kollin Altomare and Wilson Associates Landscape Architects – a true showcase piece. The owner of the hotel plans to cover nearly the entire facade of the building with plants, but sensibly decided to put up a substantial “test wall” before proceeding further.
Installed by GreenScaped Buildings, the wall is 586 square feet, and incorporates 180 VGM 6” modules with a total of 2,880 plants. The Tournesol VGM® system is a recycled plastic living wall module attached to stainless steel hanging rails. Once grown in it provides instant, complete coverage of any vertical surface.
Last Friday was Park(ing) Day, “an annual worldwide event where artists, designers and citizens transform metered parking spots into temporary public parks.” After reaching 162 cities on 6 continents in 2012, the organization this year decided they wanted to put focus on the quality rather than the quantity of our urban public spaces, and we couldn’t agree more.
It was our pleasure to participate in the International Parking Day event in Madison, WI in conjunction with SAA Design Group. We provided the SpiraPave deck & paver supports, top slope correctors and beam holders for the decking they built to elevate the top of the platform to curb height.
SAA Design Group sees this event as an opportunity to re-imagine our urban landscape and highlight the value of our civic spaces.
Recently Architect magazine featured an article called Newest Urbanism where the author, Kim O’Connell, explores the idea of tactical urbanism as it moves into the mainstream. She references the Better Block program of Dallas that installed a bike lane, plants and sidewalk furniture to a moribund city block, as well as the students of Georgia Tech College whose plan formed the basis of the Atlanta BeltLine Street Framework Plan. These interventions are a way to reclaim our urban environment, encourage street life and promote economic investment.
And while each small effort might not make a major change on its own, combined together they will help to push forward an agenda including studies and proposals towards a real change to our cities.