Category Archives: Company News

Green Walls and Living Walls at Cane Island, Katy, TX

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Cane Island in Katy, Texas, is a new residential complex with 1,100 acres of master-planned community living featuring indoor and outdoor landscape design. AndersonBaron, a full-service planning and landscape architecture firm, designed the landscape environment with modular units for green walls and living walls bringing a new concept of green architecture.

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AndersonBaron specified our VertiGreen Hybrid trellis system to climb the large, 15 foot bollards that line the main access road of the entrance to Cane Island. Our partner distributors at Ewing Irrigation and Supply collaborated with Shooter & Lindsey, a commercial landscaping contractor which installed the VertiGreen trellises. Our VertiGreen Hybrid trellis system consists of a recycled plastic plant growing module (VGM), set into a double-panel trellis system.

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The plants are grown in the module (either on its own or pre-installed in the trellis), and hung on the wall once the plants are rooted. No separate planter or container is required, so it can be easily used in areas distant from the ground or another planter. The trellis system mounts to the wall with a simple bracket, like the original VertiGreen trellis. Either the plant growing module or the entire panel can be quickly removed for maintenance. In a blog by David Olson, public relations specialist for Ewing, David says they supplied the irrigation products for the bollards and other features. He writes,

“Construction of the bollards began in February 2015, and the first planting was over the summer. Shooter & Lindsey took delivery of the planters and grew the flowers at their offices while the bollards were under construction.”

Also in his blog, David quotes Luis Andrade, Ewing account manager, who stated about the project,

‘It’s a different concept…not just green design, but also modular so it can be changed every year.’

Shooter & Lindsey is growing plants for the bollards that can be switched each season so the plants will always have color and be constantly in bloom regardless of the season.

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Another extremely large and beautiful green wall was installed inside the Cane Island Recreation Center. AndersonBaron chose our VGP Tray-Based Living Wall System design for the two-sided interior green wall. The VGP system offers versatility, easy installation, and a lush, rich-looking living wall. The total dimensions of the living wall measure a whopping 18 feet high by 16 feet wide, standing three feet above the ground to total 21 feet in height! The green wall consists of over 1,100 VGP-01 trays, made of recycled polypropylene. For the plant sizes 148 of the VGP-1636 Mounting Panels were required to hang the VGP trays at standard 6″ intervals. The generously-sized pots will allow for long term growing, and easy replacement or change-out as desired. The trays drain overflow from a reservoir (sub-irrigation) allowing the plant water to drain to a specific point. This two-sided wall features about 7,500 Dianthus plants, which flower heavily and will cover the wall beautifully.

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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. The Cane Island living wall is a sight to see and we can’t wait to revisit in a year or two and take a look at how well it has fully grown.

New Orleans: ASLA, Botanical Garden & Omni Riverfront Hotel

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The ASLA ’16 Expo in New Orleans was a hit! It was good to see everyone, and thank you to those who stopped by our Tournesol Siteworks booth to say hello and see our new product offerings, like the accessory pockets, and our Thermally-Modified Boulevard Wood products. There were many architects and landscape architects in attendance, while the sessions allowed learning and collaborating, to take place. We’re already looking forward to next year’s expo in Los Angeles.

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Our booth at the ASLA ‘!6 Expo in New Orleans

While we were in town, we took the opportunity to visit a few projects that Tournesol Siteworks has participated in and we admired the final installations of our products. At the New Orleans Botanical Garden in City Park, Jeffrey Carbo Landscape Architects, from Baton Rouge, specified our VGM Modular Living Wall as the arrival to the garden entrance. City Park has been undergoing renovations this past year and the green wall is proudly placed at the new Arrival Garden and Event Court.

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Arrival Garden and Event Court at New Orleans Botanical Garden

Our partners at Ewing Irrigation and Landscape Supply collaborated with Rotolo Consultants Inc. who installed the beautiful living wall. The full VGM green wall is 1,000 square feet and is a vertical, lush garden presentation which introduces the park entrance to garden visitors.

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VGM Green Wall at the Botanical Garden

Our group also visited the Omni Riverfront Hotel where Forstall Interiorscapes, in New Orleans, specified planters from our Urban Collection in squares and rectangles. Forstall installed the planters after choosing our Metal Matched Paint in the color iron, from our various options of materials and finishes. The MMP Iron color mimics the look of our more expensive metal-infused pots. The MMP painted colors, unlike the real metals, won’t change over time, providing predictability for commercial applications.

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Wilshire Box Hanging Planters at VA Hospital, New Orleans

Another visit was to the VA Hospital in New Orleans where our Wilshire Box Hanging Planters were installed, and specified by landscape architects from Rotolo Consultants Inc. The 45 rectangular hanging planters are in various lengths, yet  all are 18″W x 36″H and cover the parking structure horizontally.

Our sales and marketing team had a great time in New Orleans enjoying the landscape architecture, history, architecture, music, food, culture, and atmosphere. Can’t wait to return!

 

Our Thermally-Modified Wood in The New York Times

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At the beginning of October, we at Tournesol Siteworks were excited to be selected for a special article in the design section of The New York Times (in print and online), written by Julie Lasky. The article, titled “Architects and Designers Pick Their Favorite New Textiles, Paints and Hardware” featured recent product designs that were selected as favorites by a distinguished group of architects and designers.

Our Boulevard Thermally-Modified Structural Wood Tiles were chosen by Mikyoung Kim, of mikyoung kim design in Boston. She commented that the wood “frees us from using exotic hard woods on our roof decks.” To view the online article, click here.  For a print version of the article see here: tournesol-siteworks-new-york-times-10-6-16.

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Tournesol Siteworks’ Boulevard Thermally-Modified Structural Wood Tiles

America In Bloom – Step Right Up

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A few weeks ago, Tournesol Siteworks was contacted by Edith Makra, a enthusiastic supporter of urban wood (it’s how we met her) and board member of America in Bloom.

America in Bloom is a national organization that promotes beautiful, livable communities and cultivates civic leaders as stewards. We recognize the most exceptional communities in the country with awards, a ‘bloom rating’ and sometimes grants to help them plant and beautify their communities.”

 

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Photo courtesy of America in Bloom

This is a wonderful organization experienced in bringing communities  together. Their vision:

 “America in Bloom envisions communities across the country as welcoming and vibrant places to live, work, and play – benefiting from colorful plants and trees; enjoying clean environments; celebrating heritage; and planting pride through volunteerism.”

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Photo Courtesy of America in Bloom

October 6-8, 2016 is their annual symposium being held in Arroyo Grande, CA. Edith described the symposium and requested a donation (from friends and supporters) to enter into their onsite and online fundraising auction. The auction raises money to support programs at America in Bloom and takes place during the symposium. Most of the audience and attendees of the symposium build and improve parks, plant flowers, and promote sustainable lifestyles. Tournesol Siteworks believes strongly in the mission of AIB, and has donated a lightweight fiberglass Harlie Collection planter for the auction. It’s one of our most attractive, which will hopefully draw bidders and help the cause.

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Harlie Collection Planter

The Harlie Collection is a planter designed by Luxxbox, our Australian partners from down under. Harlie planters are a cool, prismatic form with a distinct design edge and are durable for outdoor environments, even locations with heavy traffic. “Puddle” was the chosen color for this 24” Harlie planter in the finish “T-0,” which is a smooth, painted gel-coat surface. The strength of FRP fiberglass allows us to make pots and planters that hold incredible amounts of weight with remarkably thin walls. Because our fiberglass is designed to withstand being outdoors, Tournesol Siteworks typically uses a thicker, heavier wall section than most other fiberglass manufacturers.

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Harlie in White

In the online auction, donations and gifts are visible through the website Bidding for Good, just click here for the auction. If you are interested in bidding on our Harlie Collection planter, located at the onsite auction, please contact America in Bloom at 614-453-0744.

Thermally-Modified Wood Planters Presentation

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In Concord, CA, the Willows Shopping Center has been receiving a remodel for the past few years. Many architects, contractors, and landscape architects have been called to help beautify specific sections of this sleepy shopping center, and modernize the area for the community of shoppers and diners. One project in particular involved upgrading the exterior of Fuddruckers restaurant. Johnson Lyman Architects, out of Walnut Creek, specified our Boulevard Wood Planters for the front entrance of the restaurant.

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Tournesol Siteworks’ wood planters were installed by Lenzi Incorporated, out of Stockton, and arranged as a decorative barrier along the length of the dining area (shown in the photo below). Each planter is 48″L x 18″W x 36″H and has been beautifully planted with various succulents.

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Thermally-Modified Boulevard Wood Planters

Our wood planters are produced from Boulevard thermally-modified wood which goes through a process that 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.

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The thermal-modification process also prevents moisture absorption and makes Boulevard wood resistant to warp, twist and other movement. Over time, weathering will reveal the wood’s natural patina to a silver, grayish color.

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As the Willows Shopping Center continues to be remodeled and renovated, we look forward to seeing the outstanding results.

Frank Lloyd Wright’s Unity Temple – Upcoming Project

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FLR Unity Temple image
Photo courtesy of visitoakpark.com

We’re excited to be part of the Unity Temple restoration project. The Unity Temple in Oak Park, Illinois, is one of the most outstanding  masterpieces of Frank Lloyd Wright’s brilliant architecture. At age 38, Frank Lloyd Wright was commissioned by the Unity Church congregation (of which he was a member) to design a new church. Their old building was destroyed by fire in 1905, after being struck by lightning, and the Unity Temple was completed in 1909. It is the only surviving public building of Wright’s Prairie period, is still used for worship services today, and over 20,000 people visit each year.

In 2015, the Unity Temple Restoration Foundation  began a project to make environmental improvements to sustain the architecture in the future and to restore the temple to its original appearance, over 100 years later.

CYLA Design Associates is the landscape architect for this restoration and has specified our Welded Planter Liners for planters on the East and West Terraces of the Unity Temple. The liners are welded together from stress-relieved polypropylene sheets that won’t rust, corrode or rot over time. This is one purpose CYLA specified our particular liners.

Tournesol Siteworks is thrilled to be collaborating with CYLA Design Associates again. It is an honor to participate in such a prestigious project for the restoration of Frank Lloyd Wright ‘s Unity Temple, an exquisite display of modern architecture, style and elegance.

 

 

 

Parklet Project with an Ocean Theme

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Back in July, the Florida ASLA chapter event in Jacksonville, Florida, held a parklet competition for university students. The theme of the competition was the 100-year anniversary celebration of the National Parks Service. Tricia Keffer, Florida International University (FIU) student, reached out to Tournesol Siteworks. She is a student in the Master’s MLA program for Landscape Architecture and expects to graduate in spring 2018. Tricia asked if we would loan her and her team a few of our products to help build a parklet for their competition entry.

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Photo courtesy of Tricia Keffer

We were eager to help her team with the competition, since Tournesol Siteworks was exhibiting at the event and this was a good opportunity to present our products within our product loan program. For her team’s parklet, we provided our Thermally-Modified Boulevard Wood Structural Tiles with SpiraPave adjustable deck and paver supports. Our Boulevard Wood (shown in the photo below) 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 and makes Boulevard wood resistant to warp, twist and other movement.

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Photo courtesy of Tricia Keffer

Our Harlie Collection planter made of lightweight FRP Fiberglass also provided ambiance for the setting along with our South Chairs, one in a tall seat and one shorter-sized stool. Tricia’s blog about the contest can be found here: http://plantspeoplelove.com/flasla-16-parklet-competition. Kindly, she answered a few question regarding her inspiration and the competition entry.

“My inspiration was the Florida Keys, and the natural beauty of the waterfront areas and the underwater world. So I decided the National Marine Sanctuary would be my park to showcase. One day I passed by a store called “Ocean Gardens” in Islamorada. The name of the store was my design strategy. My idea was for people to experience the plant world that is underwater.”

“I did the planning, the design, and the building part. My fellow students from the student FL ASLA chapter pitched in with the chalk ‘underwater’ drawing on the front, the plants, and tweaking. It took about 2 hours to put it all together on site. It was a fun experience. ”

Photo courtesy of Tricia Keller

“I decided to enter the parklet competition because it was a great opportunity to meet and work with vendors. It was my first Landscape Architect conference and I really enjoyed working with your company. Actually seeing how the products were set up and the look and feel of them is handy for my future designs than just looking online. I think the decking in particular really brought the whole design together. The clean look and feel of the wood set the stage for the seating.”

We’re thrilled to have been part of Tricia’s team build for the parklet competition and, although she wasn’t the winner, we know she had a blast designing the parklet and displaying her skills and talent in landscape architecture. We wish her all the best in her upcoming career.

 

 

TWIGs Calm on Roof Deck Zen Garden

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In Fairfax County, northern Virginia, sits the town of Merrifield, surrounded by highways on all sides. Merrifield has undergone an amazing amount of reconstruction and changes, and has basically been reinvented since the late 1990’s until now. It used to be known as a “suburban wasteland,” yet is now home to new neighborhoods, great restaurants, retail and office spaces, hotels, and shops. One neighborhood in particular is the 31-acre Mosaic District.

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TWIG Bench at Modera Mosaic

We’re taking a fresh look at a project installed in this district about two years ago at the Mill Creek Residential Modera Mosaic Apartments. Modera collaborated with architects from SK & I Architectural Design Group out of Bethesda, MD, and landscape architects from Parker Rodriquez, Inc. from Alexandria, VA. Parker Rodriquez created an amazing Zen Garden in the apartment plaza on the 3rd floor roof deck.

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For the garden seating, Parker Rodriquez specified our modular TWIG  benches which were installed by landscape contractors from Ruppert Landscape, out of Gainesville, Virginia.  As part of the design, the TWIG benches were to be encompassed by the landscape and garden greenery (shown in the photo below). Apartments are on the perimeter of the roof deck, yet the center of the deck is a public space for gathering. It is a great achievement in the design, as residents are able to walk out of their own unit (each with sliding doors) to have their own private amenity space/garden, yet on a public roof deck.

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Lush greenery encompassing the TWIG bench

The TWIG bench originated with Street and Garden Furniture, our partner down under, in a design by Alexander Lotersztain. We make the TWIG bench from lightweight GFRC concrete. Since this is a rooftop application, the weight of the TWIG was a main consideration by Parker Rodriquez. However, it was a win-win situation because each bench only weighs 700 lbs. allowing for lower environmental footprint during shipping and installation.

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The 18 on-grade TWIG benches enhance this dynamic space.  Within many color options for the TWIG, Parker Rodriquez chose the color “Shark” in the Tier 2 Texture “Acid-Etch” – a nearly smooth, fine sand finish that is consistent, elegant and rich looking.

Another interesting feature of the TWIG benches is that they were used as retaining planting walls for the soil behind them, eliminating the need to pour concrete to hold the increased depth of soil for the landscaping.

This is a beautiful application and we were excited to see the fully grown, lush greenery, and the roof deck application where the tenants can enjoy their apartment community.

 

 

 

 

 

Immense 50 Foot Living Wall in Irvine

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A few months ago, our partners at Instant Jungle International received a visit from the new owner of the building at 2082 Michelson Drive in Irvine, CA. The owner was looking at the plant selection at Instant Jungle, and noticed their display of our VGM Modular Living Wall. He became interested in creating a living wall on his new property. Landscape Contractor, Greg Wallace, from Instant Jungle invited our salesperson to meet with the owner to discuss the dimensions, location and installation of a “spectacular” living wall, as well as the plant pallet for the plant growth and maintenance. After the discussion, we collaborated with Greg to create an enormous exterior green wall for the customer.

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VGM Living Wall After Installation

The wall measures approximately 50′ H by 10’W, incorporating 120 of our VGM system modules; they attach to stainless steel hanging rails and when mounted to a structurally sound wall (shown in the photo below), require minimal penetrations .

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Instant Jungle was responsible for pre-growing the succulents and plants in the VGM trays (about 2-3 months in advance), and installing the living wall modules. 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 spectacular results.

Our partners at Ewing Irrigation have produced a video displaying the ease of mounting and installing our VGM Modular Living Wall System – click here to watch the video.
20160420_172311Instant Jungle 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. Instant Jungle is also maintaining this living wall, as maintenance is key to ensure the plants continue to grow and thrive.

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Before and After

This immense, gorgeous living wall can be seen at a distance or up close, allowing many onlookers to enjoy the plant colors, layout and design. We are thankful to Instant Jungle for being a wonderful partner and for inviting us into this project. Can’t wait to check back in a few months for a second look!

 

 

 

We’re moving – Union City here we come!

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We’re moving to our new facility on June 30th, and we couldn’t be more excited! Tournesol Siteworks has been in our current building for over five years and now it’s time for a huge change. Friday, July 1st will be our first day in the new building.

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Old facility

Our new address is 2930 Faber Street, Union City, CA, 94587, just about two miles from our current plant in Hayward.  Our phone number remains the same: 800-542-2282. We may be a little hard to get a hold of as the phone lines switch from one facility to the next – have patience, and send us an email!!  Please bear with us this week as the move is an enormous task. We’ll try to make this smooth, as answering your calls is most important to us.

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New facility

A little about the new building….it is 43,000 sq.ft. of warehouse space large enough for individual casting, prep and painting rooms, as well as a dedicated dust-free drying room. Next to the drying room is office space surrounded by floor-to-ceiling windows, flooding the work space with natural light. Inside, the newly installed cubicle spaces are a fresh color “breeze” (light blue) with wood brown desktops. Just inside the main front entry doors, the lobby area is large enough for a showroom for finished products. It’s a serious upgrade for us, one that we’ve grown into.

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Future front entrance showroom

The entire company is ready for this change and Thursday can’t come soon enough – we’ve been working on this move for over six months. Here’s our last shot at the old place, with some of the amazing employees at Tournesol Siteworks who daily make the magic happen and work hard to make sure that all of our customers get what they need!!

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Amazing team