Tournesol Siteworks

Rockin’ the Rooftops in Emeryville!

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Along the San Francisco Bay, sits the small city of EmeryvilIe, squeezed between Oakland and Berkeley. The city has risen from an industrial wasteland to a city encompassing major retailers, life science companies, fine dining, shopping, theaters, and pleasant neighborhoods. Emeryville’s economic growth has increased the need for multi-family development. One recently developed apartment community is located at the corner of 64th Street and Christie Avenue. The 190-unit, 5-story residential  complex was completed in 2014. We visited the project two years later to show you Tournesol Siteworks’ pots and planters highlighted on the rooftop, amenity deck and entrance to the building.

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The property was creatively designed by Steinberg Architects, who collaborated with landscape architects from The Guzzardo Partnership, both San Francisco-based firms. Guzzardo specified Tournesol Siteworks products for the project which required multiple planters from a few of our collections. Golden State Landscaping installed the planters and filled them with lush greenery and succulents for the tenants to enjoy.

From our Wilshire Collection, Guzzardo used 51 FRP fiberglass square planters – 24 in the color Royalty, 13 in Ivory and 14 in a custom color “Oxide Red.” For the texture, they chose the smooth, conventional finish of T-0. The red planters gracefully enhance (as shown below) the space on the rooftop.

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Also from our Wilshire Collection, they specified 38 of our Fiberglass FRP rectangular planters – 12 in the color Pitch (texture T-0) and 26 in Shadow. The rectangles in Shadow were placed along the perimeter of the roof deck and produced in the T-1 finish, which enhances the durability of the planter and helps to resist scratching.

From our Urban Collection, Guzzardo chose 17 square planters – eight in the color Pitch and nine in a custom color “Traffic Yellow.” The yellow planters have a T-0 smooth finish and were placed at the building’s entrance, offering a bright, colorful entry (as shown below).

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Our Downtown Collection FRP Fiberglass round planters, displayed in the photo below, were also ordered in “Oxide Red” (the same color used above) and Shadow with the T-1 texture (33 and 13, respectively).  The distinctive shapes were placed along the amenity deck and walls of the complex.

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Emeryville is rocking with this creatively designed, multi-family residential apartment building and we were thrilled to be part of such a large installation. It’s nice to revisit this project after a few years, to know the tenants are happy and to see that everything still looks great!

VGP Climbing up the Wall in Houston

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Houston, Texas, is one of the largest cities in the country, with an amazing mix of pro-sports, world-class restaurants, arts, and booming business. In the heart of Houston is the Westchase District, a prime business area known for the wide array of small, medium and large businesses located in the area. One office building with property management company Crimson Services, LLC, is located at 2500 Citywest Boulevard and recently desired a fresh green wall on an exterior section of the 25-story building.

Designer Lisa Taul, and Sales Consultant Jana Swatloski, both with Silversand Services out of Houston, coordinated with Crimson Services on this green wall project design. Our partner from Ewing Irrigation, Luis Andrade, was contacted by Lisa for his technical expertise and product knowledge of Tournesol Siteworks‘ green wall options for design possibilities, and project requirements.

Our VGP Tray-Based Living Wall System was chosen to create the “living art” design for the green wall. The VGP system offered versatility and easy installation, desired by this light commercial application, and a lush, rich-looking living wall at a price significantly lower than our VGM modular living wall.

The total dimensions of the living wall measure a whopping 9 feet high by 40 feet long! The green wall consists of over 1,000 VGP-01 trays, with each tray incorporating an anti-lift arm to prevent the trays from being “accidentally” removed, but requiring no other bolts or clips. For the plant sizes and the project budget, 90 of the VGP-1636 Mounting Panels were required to hang the VGP trays at standard 6″ intervals. The generously-sized pot will allow for long term growing, and easy replacement or change-out as desired.

Our partners at Ewing Irrigation have produced a video displaying the ease of mounting and installing our VGP Living Wall System  – click here to watch the video.

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Silversand Services took great care choosing the appropriate plants for the environment and style of the green wall. Plants types included Bugleweed ‘Burgundy Glow’, Variegated Greater Periwinkle, Holly Fern, Aztec Grass, and Foxtail Fern.

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What an amazing green wall with lush plants that will fully grow in beautifully within a few months! The tenants of 2500 Citywest Blvd. will be able to enjoy the green wall for a long time to come.

Cambridge’s Custom Benches & Planters

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In the heart of Cambridge, MA (formerly Newtowne from 1630-1703), is Kendall Square – an exciting place for the expanding Technology/Biotechnology market. The neighborhood is full of shops, restaurants, and movie theaters rubbing elbows with institutions and corporations including MIT, Google, Amazon, and Twitter, among others. In the heart of Kendall Square is 50 Hampshire Street, holding the largest block of adjacent space in the square. Recently, 50 Hampshire Street underwent a fabulous lobby renovation and new exterior landscape design.

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Local firm CBT Architects collaborated with Boston landscape architect Copley Wolff Design Group to create an extraordinary design which included custom made wooden benches and planters. Copley Wolff specified Tournesol Siteworks for the construction of the planters and 20 custom Boulevard thermally-modified wood benches. The benches were fabricated in Tournesol Siteworks‘ Northern California facility and locally installed by landscape contractors  Brightview (formerly Valleycrest) of Boston.

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The custom dimensions of the Boulevard wood are 72″L x 24″W x 18″H with the wood running the length of both bench sides and tops. Our Boulevard Wood goes through a process which changes the chemical make-up and cell structure of the wood. The process creates lumber with exceptional resistance to rot, pest, and decay. Technically, it shares a 25-year preserved-wood-like durability level similar to South American hardwoods, but is ecologically-friendly. The thermal-modification process also prevents moisture absorption (which is great for Cambridge’s varying weather) and makes Boulevard wood resistant to warp, twist and other movement.

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Along with the custom benches, we created 11 custom FRP Fiberglass Wilshire Collection planters in rectangular dimensions of 72″L x 24″W x 36″H, and 2 tall square Wilshire collection planters sized 24″Sq. x 48″H. Copley Wolff required that the planters be anchored to the ground, so they specified the reinforced bottom option and pre-drilled drain holes. A planter with a reinforced bottom contains a strong piece of plywood between layers of the fiberglass on the base, which provides a solid panel to anchor to the ground and spreads the load should the planter move.

All of the planters are outfitted with our CWM Modular Container Irrigation to fit the shape and size of each planter. The CWM system gives the ability to store incredible amounts of water and reduce maintenance.

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We’re thrilled to take part in this project, just down the street from the 200 Sidney project. The Boulevard wood is coming to Boston!

 

 

Pre-fabricated Wooden Benches for Cast-in-Place in Cambridge

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Cambridge Massachusetts is famous for being the home of two of the world’s top universities – Harvard University and MIT – and the home of many brilliant minds. However, in the same town, there are other brilliant minds at the Sidney Research Center, at 200 Sidney Street in the Fort Washington Research Center. Currently under renovation, the building was newly rebranded the Sidney Research Campus by  owner BioMed Realty Trust. The space is designed for smaller companies in the biotechnology industry, committed to the discovery and development of breakthrough small molecule drugs for serious diseases.

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Architects at Arrowstreet Architecture and Design of Boston, collaborated with general contractors from The Richmond Group, out of Hopkinton, MA, on the beautiful building entrance. Arrowstreet designed cool, custom wood benches over cast-in-place concrete and specified Tournesol Siteworks for the custom bench construction.

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New England Finish Systems, based in Salem, NH, installed the Boulevard thermally-modified wood  on powder-coated steel furring strips. Certain benches required backs and others were left backless. The dimensions of the Boulevard Wood were custom, either 2 &1/4″W or 2 & 1/2”W and custom lengths varied. The units were assembled completely at the Tournesol Siteworks facility in Hayward, and shipped ready to be installed on site.

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Our Boulevard Wood goes through a process which changes the chemical make-up and cell structure of the wood. The process creates lumber with exceptional resistance to rot, pest, and decay. Technically, it shares a 25-year preserved-wood-like durability level similar to South American hardwoods, but is ecologically-friendly. The thermal-modification process also prevents moisture absorption (which is great for Cambridge’s varying weather) and makes Boulevard wood resistant to warp, twist and other movement.

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The project turned out beautifully, and seems to be a welcoming and relaxing rest area for the brilliant minds at work inside the building. We are excited to be part of such an amazing structure. Hopefully, those who come outside to rest will be able to work inside to bring good news of hope to those who are suffering and who may benefit from their research.

Urban on Oak in Walnut?

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Small or large businesses can always use an update to their landscape design. Just 16 miles east of Oakland, CA, lies a cool town named Walnut Creek in the East Bay of the San Francisco Bay Area. It has a quaint feeling yet is a modern city with lots of shopping, fine restaurants and family-oriented neighborhoods.

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At 2999 Oak Road, near the Contra Costa Transit Center in Walnut Creek, a new look has emerged. Cleary Brothers Landscape Company, Inc. contacted our partner distributors Imperial Sprinkler Supply, out of Livermore, CA.  Cleary installed Tournesol Siteworks’ Fiberglass FRP Urban Collection planters in the front plaza of the main entrance to the building.

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The sleek, modern and elegantly proportioned lightweight FRP Urban Collection pots and planters add a touch of style to this large plaza. Cleary requested our Urban Collection in square (48″Sq x 42″H), tall (24″Sq x 48″H) and rectangular (48″L x 24″W x 24″H) shapes. Inside the planters, they also installed our CWM Modular Container Irrigation Systems to fit the shape and size of each planter. The CWM system gives the ability to store incredible amounts of water and reduce maintenance.

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For the texture, they chose the smooth, conventional finish of  T-0 with a Metal Matched Paint (MMP) Iron color. Tournesol’s MMP Iron color mimics the look of the more expensive metal-infused iron finish and, unlike the real metals, won’t change over time – it will continue to provide predictability and stability.

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Under each Urban Collection planter, they placed our matching (depending on the size of the base ) Fiberglass Skirted Saucers in the MMP Iron color and smooth T-0 texture. We are happy this project requested our products and hope the public as well as the building occupants continue to enjoy the new planters.

 

 

Fresh, Cool Style at Hotel Zephyr

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San Francisco is a city that is alive, constantly morphing and changing. The breeze from the bay brings the sounds of the waterfront to the courtyard of the Hotel Zephyr, close to Fisherman’s Wharf in San Francisco, CA. The hotel has recently refurbished the exterior decor and has created a uniquely different environment for hotel guests, including a fire pit and a large, 40 foot periscope with views of the water and Alcatraz.

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Being close to the bay, Bruce Jett Associates Landscape Architects wanted to bring port and shipping elements of the wharf into the Hotel Zephyr project design. Using large segments of metal shipping containers, they created walls surrounding the courtyard of the hotel. Bruce Jett Associates specified Tournesol Siteworks‘ VGM Modular Living Wall System on one wall of the courtyard, which was installed by Eggli Landscape Contractors, out of Redwood City, CA.

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The VGM Living Wall system consists of 100% recycled plastic planting modules attached to stainless steel hanging rails. Each planting module, made of 100% recycled polypropylene, has a generous 4” or 8” soil profile. Because root growth isn’t limited to small cells or baffles like in other systems, plants grow healthier and stronger, which means lower maintenance yet more amazing results. Eggli also installed our stabilized Media Block, an organic base material stabilized into a sponge-like block that fits perfectly in the VGM module. The media block absorbs up to five times its weight in water, but only weighs 40 lbs./pcf, facilitating even irrigation, faster grow in and optimal plant health.

Zephyr 5For a rustic effect, they used steel sheet pilings (also used on the waterfront) for decoration in the northeast corner of the courtyard. Inside the pilings, we created custom trapezoid-shaped Welded Planter Liners that are 34″ wide in back, 15″ wide in front, 48″ tall, and 18″ deep. The welded planter liners were inserted into the steel pilings and used as planters.

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At the front of the stylish Hotel Zephyr, Patrick Lamar from RHI Construction out of Santa Rosa, installed our Boulevard Wood Decking, which compliments the entrance (as shown in the photo below). Our Boulevard thermally-modified wood goes through a process which changes the chemical make-up and cell structure of the wood. The process creates lumber with exceptional resistance to rot, pest, and decay. Technically, it shares a 25-year preserved-wood-like durability level similar to South American hardwoods, but is ecologically-friendly.

The thermal-modification process also prevents moisture absorption (which is great for San Francisco’s wind, rain and bay weather) and makes Boulevard wood resistant to warp, twist and other movement.

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We are thrilled to have been part of the redesign of Hotel Zephyr and to be part of this cool stylish, trendy installation – right in our own backyard (well, across the bay at least).

Queen Anne’s Playful Uptown Parklet

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Parklets are popping up all over the country, especially in major cities, and are beginning to change the pedestrian environment. These little “mini parks” have allowed the community to build public spaces for meeting, socializing, and as urban oases. Parklets have become really popular due to PARKing Day, a nation-wide celebration day rivaling the automobile-focused environment. It’s a day where the public takes back urban street parking slots and creates temporary parks filled with designers, artists and people seeking community interaction.

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Two years ago, the city of Seattle was challenged by PARKing Day and recognized its success in other cities such as San Francisco and Los Angeles. Since the city sought to create a number of parklets all over Seattle, the Seattle Department of Transportation (SDOT) announced its Pilot Parklet Program. The program opened an application process for communities and neighborhoods to submit for a parklet to be constructed in their urban area.

Seattle’s VIA Architecture, on behalf of VIA’s Community Design Studio, worked with a civic organization called The Uptown Alliance (which represents the Uptown Urban Center) to submit an application for the Queen Anne district. The “Uptown Parklet” was selected as one of 10 parklets and was fortunate enough to be one of the first constructed as part of the pilot program. Slater Construction, out of Seattle, worked with the team of designers, community volunteers and architects to build this parklet, completed in February 2015.

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We revisited this cool parklet this month (March 15), which features Tournesol Siteworks’ Boulevard Wood for the decking, benches and planter cladding. Our Boulevard thermally-modified wood goes through a process which changes the chemical make-up and cell structure of the wood. The process creates lumber with exceptional resistance to rot, pest, and decay. Technically, it shares a 25-year preserved-wood-like durability level similar to South American hardwoods, but is ecologically-friendly.

Weathering reveals the wood’s natural patina to a silver, grayish color (as shown in the photo above). The thermal-modification process also prevents moisture absorption (which is great for Seattle’s occasionally wet weather) and makes Boulevard wood resistant to warp, twist and other movement.

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Th Uptown Parklet is the perfect place for our Boulevard wood, with the public interaction, environmental exposure and continual community use. The wood has withstood wonderfully! We’re so glad that the Queen Anne district is enjoying their Uptown Parklet…go Seattle!

We Love Custom Planters & Projects!

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In Southern California, Irvine Company® is a privately held real-estate investment company respected for its stewardship and master planning. Among their various properties is Irvine Spectrum Center, which is known as Orange County’s epicenter for cultural entertainment, dining and shopping. Other projects involve properties all over Southern California, including development of a parking structure at 350 Spectrum Center Drive near Irvine Spectrum Center.

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Wilshire Collection Fiberglass Rectangular Planters

 

For this parking structure, LPA, architects out of Irvine, CA, collaborated with landscape architects Burton Landscape Architecture Studio, from Solano Beach. Burton created the parking area which is large and wide-open, yet the design layout required custom-sized planters. Recently. Burton contacted Tournesol Siteworks and requested 21 of our Wilshire Collection rectangular planters custom ordered to eight feet in length by five feet wide and 30″ height.

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Wilshire Collection rectangular planters divide and organize space with their clean, simple style and no bottom reveal. The planters bring greenery and life to the urban parking structure. Valley Crest, out of Irvine, CA, installed the planters and filled the pots with lush greenery to bring life to the urban parking structure.

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The Wilshire planters were manufactured in our lightweight FRP fiberglass specified in the custom color “Balboa Mist”. For the texture, Burton chose the smooth, conventional finish of T-0.  This project was well-done and allows the customers of the parking structure to enjoy more than a place to park, but a greener urban space.

Custom Hearth Warms the Northwest

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Lately, the northwest has been jumping with projects and installations! Tournesol Siteworks has been involved with quite a few; one in particular is in Seattle’s South Lake Union district. This is a happening neighborhood near the Amazon campus that is full of commercial properties. The Radius, new apartments at 400 Boren Street, is a seven-story complex with over 280 units, and runs half of a city block at 43, 200 square feet. With more apartments now, the area is the epitome of the live, work, play Seattle lifestyle.

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Architecture and landscape architectural firm Weber Thompson, from Seattle, WA, created an amazing building containing private spaces, upper level terraces, large windows and an “E” shape design to the back of the building allowing light and air flow. On the rooftop and amenity decks on the third, eighth and ninth floors, Weber Thompson specified our Wilshire Collection  Fiberglass FRP round, square and rectangular shaped pots and planters in various dimensions. Weber also specified square and round lightweight GFRC Downtown Collection pots on the eighth and ninth floor amenity decks, installed by Compass Construction, Kirkland, WA.

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For the rooftop on the 9th floor, we engineered a custom hearth in lightweight GFRC per design specifications (as you can see in the photo above). Dimensions of the custom hearth are massive at 130″L x 64″W x 20″T, with 72″L x 25.25″W x 8.5″T recess in the center, including six 2″ x 12″ air intake. The center of the burner recess is hollow, so they used our adjustable VersiJack support pedestals and VersiJack Base Slope Correctors for easy access to conduit and electrical equipment, and to conceal these services below the hearth. The VersiJack pedestal‘s broad, stable base can support more weight than any other pedestal system.

On the ground floor, near the main entrance to the building, Weber Thompson wanted to plant a tree but didn’t want to exceed certain height limits, due to the windows, and the soil depth needed for the tree roots. Their solution was to place our Wilshire round planter inside a cast-in-place concrete planter (as shown in the photo above) to allow the tree’s soil depth to increase yet not exceed the window height requirements.

Weber Thompson created a wonderful structure on this architectural and landscape design project and we were happy to be involved. The neighborhood is booming and the beauty of this project speaks for itself.

Key for the Quarry – Northlakes Bench

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As part of a city revitalization strategy, Quarry Park is rising from the former Quinn granite quarry in Rocklin, California. Located next to Rocklin City Hall, Quarry Park will continue a transformation, through phases, as part of the city’s plan for the seventeen acre plot of land. The park will create the city’s downtown area for community events and activities in the outdoor environment, since Rocklin does not have an official downtown.

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Fuhrman Leamy Land Group, landscape architects out of Roseville, CA, specified Tournesol Siteworks‘ Northlakes Collection benches. The benches were installed in February ’16 by Sierra Valley Construction, Inc., out of Loomis, CA. Our Northlakes Collection backed benches, designed by our Aussie partners at Street & Garden Furniture, are a robust site furnishing solution suited to high impact environments.

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The Northlakes Collection benches feature thermally-modified Boulevard wood slats. The thermal-modification process enhances domestic hardwoods with a 25-year resistance to rot and decay, similar to South American hardwoods. The cell structure of the wood changes during the process, preventing moisture absorption and helping to make Boulevard wood resistant to warp, twist and other movement. The wood is harvested, processed, and finished entirely in the U.S.  Boulevard Wood is lighter and easier to work than ipe’, and free of the arsenic, copper, chrome or other hazardous metals present in pressure treated wood.

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The benches’ frame, arms and ends are powder-coated cast aluminum and are durable enough to withstand intense weight and high traffic. Benches are complete with surface-mounted feet (shown in the photo above) which are designed to be used with conventional expansion or epoxy anchor systems.

We were happy to be specified for the Quarry Park project and cannot wait to see the park completed in the next couple of years.