All posts by Jessica

Custom Metal Designs – Percival Landing Park

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In January 2017, Tournesol Siteworks acquired FairWeather Site Furnishings, with a facility located in Port Orchard, WA. With the acquisition comes new products and installations from across the country that Tournesol can now provide. The Washington facility will be our base for metal and wood fabrication. As we’re getting to know FairWeather, we’re enjoying and sharing the stories of projects and installations.

Percival Landing table and chairs with custom branded design

The City of Olympia Parks and Recreation Department, in Olympia, Washington, undertook a revitalization project to Percival Landing Park. Percival Landing is one of three waterfront parks, located on the southern-most tip of Puget Sound. The park is a wonderful community meeting place for social interactions and celebrations, with a playground and boardwalk along the shoreline.

Per the City of Olympia’s website:

“Percival Landing Park was named after the old commercial steamship wharf, a well-known maritime landmark in the Pacific Northwest. The original dock, built by Sam Percival in 1860, was operated by the Percival Family. The first phase of Percival Landing, as we know it today, was completed and opened in 1978, phase two in 1985, and phase three in 1988.”

Kip Summers, Project Engineer for the City of Olympia Parks & Rec Dept., wanted to make products specifically for the Percival Landing project. Kip collaborated with FairWeather engineers to customize the Terrace Cafe’ Collection tables and chairs with “Percival Landing” laser cut into the table tops and the chair seats (shown below). The laser cut metal option is a wonderful addition to Tournesol Siteworks’ product lines, including memorial plaques, logos for decoration and customized additions.

Laser cut design

Many Terrace collection benches were installed in the playground area of Percival Landing, yet were specifically customized. The city project engineers wanted to ensure playground safety so the lengths of the benches legs were extended and mounted to the subsurface ten inches beneath the playground safety surface.

The community of Olympia enjoys the waterfront park’s restoration and were thrilled to maintain its historical significance. Percival Landing brings a peaceful environment that is welcoming and restful.

VGM Greenwall Withstands Force of a Super-Typhoon

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Back in October, the city of Xiamen in Southeast China was hit by super typhoon ‘Meranti,’ one of the strongest typhoons of 2016. The typhoon was at category two as it crossed Taiwan, and weakened slightly as it hit the mainland. Elmich, our partners in greenwall products, had previously installed a VGM greenwall system on JI Hotel Xiamen’s facade  that measures 2, 360 sq. ft.

VGM Greenwall Before the Typhoon

The typhoon had wind speeds of approx. 87 mph recorded as it blasted through Xiamen. After the typhoon, they discovered that the enormous VGM greenwall (including plants!) withstood the typhoon- see the photo below. From Elmich’s blog post:

Super typhoon ‘Meranti’ made landfall in Xiamen City, Fujian with a wind gust speed of around 170 km/h bringing heavy downpours and causing major disruptions to the electricity and water supplies affecting more than 3.2 million homes located in the region.

Elmich VGM mounting system is equipped with anti-lift arms and proprietary anchoring pilaster system, and certified by independent international test authority to withstand wind uplift from various directions up to 110km/h.

In this application, the real test of nature has proven that a product of quality can withstand the strongest typhoon.

 

VGM Greenwall After the Typhoon

The results of the green wall remaining in pristine condition is remarkable and attributes to the durability of the products. The VGM3 is a 100% recycled plastic planting module, attached to stainless steel rails mounted to a wall or structure. Once grown in it provides instant, complete coverage of any vertical surface. With the VGM System, root growth isn’t limited by restricting cells or baffles, thus plants grow healthier and stronger.

For more information regarding the Green Wall at JI Hotel Xiamen, click here.

From Puritans to Park Benches

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Tournesol Siteworks recently acquired FairWeather Site Furnishings, with a facility located in Port Orchard, WA. With the acquisition comes new products and installations from across the country that Tournesol can now provide. The Washington facility will be our base for metal and wood fabrication. We’re getting to know FairWeather and are thrilled to share the stories of their business ventures across the country. Here’s another story of how the site furnishings helped restore a community park.

Photo courtesy of Shadley Associates

Malden, MA, is a city which can be traced all the way back to the Puritans who settled on the land purchased in 1629 from the Native American Pennacook Tribe. Malden was the first town to petition the colonial government to withdraw from the British Empire, and became an incorporated city in 1882.

Today, Malden contains South Broadway Park, a recently renovated 5-acre park located on Maplewood Street on the city’s east side. The City and Malden Redevelopment Authority (MRA) brought public and private companies together in order to fund this multi-million dollar park improvement project.

Plaza Collection Benches – photo courtesy of Shadley Associates

At the early stages of the park design, landscape architects at Shadley Associates, out of Lexington, MA, chose FairWeather for the capability of the curved benches in the Plaza Collection (shown in the photo above). They wanted to curve the benches around sections of the park and the Plaza Collection was the answer. Four sets of custom, curved steel benches in powder coated Walnut Brown were installed by R.A.D. Sports, from of Rocklin, MA.

Photo courtesy of Shadley Associates

Later in the project, Shadley Associates also added multiple benches from the Esplanade Collection powder coated in Cardinal Red. The Esplanade benches are fabricated with 1/2″ solid round bar fully welded to specially designed brackets. The red color really pops and brings the park to life!

According to the city of Malden’s website, South Broadway Park was renamed “the Richard C. Howard Park in honor of the former Mayor whose leadership and many accomplishments has left a lasting footprint on the City of Malden.”

Fountains for Queen of Heaven

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In Lafayette, CA, the Queen of Heaven Cemetery provides a peaceful resting place to hold and honor the deceased. Once a family owned walnut orchard, the 200-acre grounds still hold the original family home, barn and small cottages which the cemetery maintains.

Recently, Catholic Management Services (CMS) constructed a new “Funeral Center” at the cemetery to hold services and memorials. As part of the landscape design, they wanted two Tournesol Siteworks turnkey fountains – one at the entrance to the building and one behind the building, where outside services would be held.

Barcelona Basin Fountain at Queen of Heaven Cemetery

To start the process, CMS choose one of our four decorative basin profiles. Each basin is manufactured in our lightweight GFRC concrete and is delivered to the site as a package including everything that is needed for installation. Both fountains were installed by California Waterscapes, and both locations (front and back) feature 10′ round Barcelona Basins in Tier 1 Sandblast texture.

Spray Ring Water Feature

Fountains are available in any of our GFRC colors, of which CMS picked Italian Terra Cotta. The Barcelona basin has a classic belly profile featuring a bullnose return at the top. Inside the front basin, they chose the Spray Ring water feature which contains multiple spray nozzles directing an arch of water 360 degrees from the center (shown closely in the image above).

For the fountain located in the back of the new building, CMS picked the two-tiered Crystal Bowl element for the center feature with two bowls – one 36″ diameter and one 24″ diameter – topped with a finial for completion. For the color of the Crystal bowls, they used a contrasting color of Shark. The complete fountain’s foundation (the center platform) contains the pumps, lighting, electrical, fixtures, and controls.

The cemetery is located on a beautiful piece of land exuding a peaceful atmosphere and environment for visiting. For the Grand Opening Celebration of the Queen of Heaven Funeral Center, back in October, the cemetery was honored by Michael C. Barber. the Bishop of Oakland, CA.

Benches from Biloxi to Jupiter

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Tournesol Siteworks recently acquired FairWeather Site Furnishings, with a facility located in Port Orchard, WA. With the acquisition, comes new products and installations from across the country that Tournesol can now provide. The Washington facility will be our base for metal and wood fabrication.

Pacifica Collection bench  at JupiterFIRST Church’s Serenity Garden

We’ve learned a lot about the company as we’ve gotten to know them. One story we love is how a bench in Biloxi inspired a specification in Florida. FairWeather was specified and provided 20 of the Pacifica Collection benches for a project at the Gulf-Biloxi Regional Airport in Mississippi. The Pacifica benches were installed by Yates Construction and each 6 ft. backed bench was fabricated with 1/2″ x 2″ curved steel bar. The seat sections were fabricated with 1/4″ x 1-1/2″ steel straps.

Pacifica Bench at Gulf-Biloxi Regional Airport, MS

Landscape architect Howard F. Ostrout of Howard F. Ostrout and Associates of Jupiter, FL, was traveling through the airport and sat on one of the benches and thought to himself, “this is one of the most comfortable benches I’ve ever sat on.”

Curved Pacifica benches at JupiterFIRST Church’s Serenity Garden

Fast forward a couple of years to when JupiterFIRST Church in Jupiter, FL, contacted Mr. Ostrout to design a Serenity Garden for the church. He remembered how comfortable he was while sitting on the benches at the Gulf-Biloxi Airport so he reached out to FairWeather to use the same benches for the design.

Straight Pacifica bench at JupiterFIRST Church’s Serenity Garden

Howard requested modification of the Pacifica benches to match his concept for the design of the Serenity Garden. FairWeather changed the orientation of the steel straps in order for some of the benches to be curved, and added custom ergonomic seat sections.  The garden includes 6 curved and 10 straight steel strap benches in powder-coated Burgundy. JupiterFIRST Church continues to enjoy the beautiful surrounding of the Serenity Garden today.

 

IUPUI Campus Refresh with Downtown, Urban and Zena

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This year, Tournesol Siteworks had the opportunity to help update the exterior of the Indiana University-Purdue University (IUPUI) campus, located in Indianapolis, Indiana. IUPUI is an urban public research university campus which houses Indiana’s two top, brilliant universities – Purdue and Indiana University. We visited back in August and captured a few great images at the campus.

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Downtown Collection planters in Shark at the IUPUI campus.

Landscape architects with Browning Day Mullins Dierdorf (BDMD), out of Indianapolis, specified our planters to help update and refresh the northwest corner of the campus that sits in the downtown area of the city. While collaborating with the university’s maintenance crew, BDMD choose planters from three of our popular collections – Downtown, Urban and Zena Collection.

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Downtown Collection planters in White.

All three of the collections were manufactured in lightweight GFRC concrete which is sturdy, but without the weight. When picking the texture, they considered the high traffic areas where the planters would be placed, and the wear and tear they would sustain. Our Tier 1, Natural Sand texture is a durable finish that can easily be refinished and repaired onsite. This detail was very important to the maintenance crew in order to keep the planters looking fresh.

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Zena Collection planter in Shadow.

An update and refresh will continue to take place moving forward, as the university replaces and freshens up the campus. BDMD has done a nice job so far bringing modernity to the exterior of the buildings. We look forward to possibly working with them in the new year.

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Urban Collection planters in Shark.

Miracle on 34th St – Blast from the Past!

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This week, our Northeast Sales Manager, Phil Sheldon, was in New York visiting a few customers. He had an opportunity to revisit our products on the streets of New York, that we delivered nearly 15 years ago, and see how well the planters are holding up.

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34th St. Partnership Planters NYC

Back in 2002, we rotationally molded custom LLD polyethylene planters for the 34th St. partnership, a business improvement district in midtown Manhattan. We began working with their designer, Ignacio Ciocchini, as he was looking at various materials for the pots. He started the discussion assuming the pots would be made in FRP fiberglass. We convinced him that plastic could be done attractively, and be far more durable than the fiberglass.

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The planters are still there and will celebrate 15-years on New York city streets. They look remarkably fresh, given the traffic levels that they have to withstand. They all look like they could use a good cleaning (lots of splotches, likely from dirt that has splashed up from the sidewalk or the street). Because we used a custom green matrix finish, the dirt isn’t as noticeable as it would be on a solid-color pot.

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Planters in front of Penn Station, NYC

The planters see a lot of abuse and are subject to everything that happens on the sidewalk. They are in many places, in front of hotels with the luggage carts that may bump into them, as well as Madison Square Gardens above Penn Station. Even with all the abuse, the planter units have very little scuffing or physical damage – just a lot of grime.

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These pots replaced custom cast concrete planters, that only lasted a few years. That is a testament (a miracle, have you) to the durability of the material in a extremely taxing environment!

San Francisco Shipyard Coming to Life

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The Hunters Point Naval Shipyard area in San Francisco, CA, is being transformed and will eventually be a residential extension of the Bayview neighborhood. This part of the city is up and coming, and is part of the city that outsiders see most rarely. The first phase of construction began in 2014, and first completed was a beautiful park for the community to enjoy. There will be residential housing that encompasses 800 units, and 20 acres of parks. Five residential units have been completed so far in this construction zone, and three more are underway, designed by four different architectural firms.

Block 51, Wilshire BOx Hanging Planters

One of the firms, Ian Birchall and Associates, specified Tournesol Siteworks products for the four-story condo building they designed. We referred to the project as Block 51 which has a large courtyard, accessible from the street. Inside the courtyard, IBA designed a modern wall of green vegetation beginning with our Wilshire Box Hanging Planters. Landscape contractors Shooter & Butts, Inc. installed the hanging planters on a metal wall with metal trellises where vines grow/climb up the wall.

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Courtyard of Block 51, Wilshire Box Hanging Planters

We design the hanging planters so that the product doesn’t take center stage – we prefer the plants steal the show. The hanging brackets are powder coated with stainless mounting studs. The brackets tuck into the back of the box, so the planter can snug up next to the wall.

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The plants quickly grow and expand onto the trellis screens. Using our WB-1218 (12″W x 18″H in, 72″L and 96″L) boxes maximizes the room the plants can grow. Typically, the more soil there is in a pot, the bigger the plant will get (the roots expand as much as the upper part of the plant will). IBA also chose various sizes of our lightweight FRP Fiberglass planters from our Wilshire Collection now located around the perimeter of the building.

The installation looks amazing and we’re sure the tenants will enjoy their surroundings full of warmth and color.

 

 

Green Walls & Green Roofs Tweet Chat!

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Earlier this week, Tournesol Siteworks was invited by Warren Gorowitz, Vice President of Sustainability at Ewing Irrigation and Landscape Supply, to participate in a “TweetChat” that was, more specifically, a “#landscapechat.” Anyone in the Twitter world may participate in TweetChats, by adding a hashtag (#) and the specific topic – this was a landscape chat focused on green walls and green roofs. The #landscapechat is hosted each week by Corona Tools (who was unavailable, so Warren hosted our chat) and happens weekly on Wednesdays, featuring different topics during the year.

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New Orleans Botanical Gardens Green Wall – VGM Living Wall

Prior to the event, we collaborated with Warren on a list of questions and answers. During the hour, Warren tweeted (asked us) specific questions, which we answered and attached a few photos to illustrate. He asked about our company, and about us being a premier solution provider of landscape elements for rooftops, terraces, streetscapes, etc…nationwide. The chat moved to ask some of the trends we see in green walls, which are a boom in amenity space development and large urban public space projects.

Slabtown Marketplace, Portland, OR, VGM
Slabtown Marketplace, Portland, OR, VGM Green Wall

Warren asked a bit about the importance of green walls and some of the challenges. Challenges include the maintenance, access, and understanding the effects of weather (wind, light, heat, etc…) on the plants. There are also different types of green walls, including tray-based and modular systems, trellis-based and interior systems, all at different price points. For green roofs, there are shallow extensive systems, deeper intensive roofs, tray-based or built-in-place systems.

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Starbucks at Downtown Disney, CA

The chat/discussion turned to how green walls/roofs promote sustainability in urban spaces, such as how they promote a healthy environment – plants provide oxygen and pleasant surroundings, and renew and restore the ecosystem. Green roofs filter and moderate stormwater flows, reducing stress on existing drain water systems. Hospitals use green walls to promote healing and peaceful environments for patients. Both green roofs and walls mitigate urban heat island effect, as well.

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Swedish Hospital, Seattle, WA, TerraScreen Interior Green Wall

Meanwhile, others in the #landscapechat community were also tweeting questions about plants, moisture of soil, whether or not coffee would grow in a green wall (yes, it can) and even the use of media block.

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Amazon Headquarters, Seattle, WA

The #landscapechat ended with questions about the future of green roofs and walls; we see a wave toward proliferation and integration into everyday commercial construction. We’re also seeing a move with green roofs towards integrating amenity spaces – making them more usable. It was the first TweetChat that Tournesol Siteworks has been part of, and it was a great experience. We look forward to participating in another one in the future.

Custom Thermally-Modified Wood Benches in Cambridge

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Tournesol Siteworks‘ products have been specified as part of the renovation plan for the Sidney Research Campus, named by owner BioMed Realty Trust, in Cambridge, MA. The center is designed for smaller companies in the biotechnology industry, committed to the discovery and development of breakthrough small molecule drugs for serious diseases. The research center comprises three properties, one at 200 Sidney Street in the Fort Washington Research Center which we blogged in April 2016.

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Sidney Research Campus Entrance

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. For more info on the original blog, read here.

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Custom Wood Benches Designed by Arrowstreet

At the 40 Erie Street location of the research campus, landscape architects from CBA Landscape Architects out of Cambridge, MA, collaborated with Arrowstreet on custom benches. They specified our Boulevard thermally-modified wood on powder-coated steel furring strips; the dimensions of the Boulevard Wood were custom with varying lengths.

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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40 Erie Street Custom Wood Benches

The units were assembled completely at the Tournesol Siteworks facility in Union City, and shipped ready to be installed on site. Landscape contractors from Brightview (formerly Valleycrest) of Boston installed the custom benches and they look amazing!

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