A few more of our favorite things!

The top 10 list continues…

6. Capella Project for Tropics North, Canada

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This is the coolest product that no one will ever see. Made especially for the Canadian security services, the custom planter/benches are 20′ long and shaped like a boomerang. We had to foam the planter walls so that they were durable enough to be sat on. It was one of the largest pieces that we have ever taken on – and they turned out fantastic!

7. Villa Marina, Marina del Rey, CA

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We loved being part of this shopping mall remodel. It is quite a striking green wall – a creative installation and a showcase for a broad pallet of plants.

 8. Patagonia, Santa Barbara, CA

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Our Northlakes Collection benches and picnic sets were perfect designed for Patagonia’s new employee picnic area. . Patagonia was especially enthusiastic about the Boulevard wood, our FSC-certified domestic replacement for environmentally-challenged but high-performing South American hardwoods. It was just right the fit for this environmentally and socially responsible company.

9. Lowes Hotel, Santa Monica, CA

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Celebrated as one of the highest vegetated walls in the Los Angeles area, we think this is truly a green wall showcase piece. Two types of grasses were used  – one long, and one that stands straight out to create a wave-like movement. The hotel likes it so much, they are planning on covering many of the other walls of the building with living wall.

 

10. The Whitney Museum, New York, NY

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We are honored to be part of the new Whitney Museum of American Art project in New York City. The building, seen here from the High Line (which we’re also a part of!), uses our VersiCell drainage panel under the greenroof on structure. This will also be part of next year’s top 10 because while we delivered the material in 2013, it won’t be open for a while!

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That’s it for 2013 – we’re proud of the projects we’ve participated on, and looking forward to even more excitement in 2014.  Change is in the air – and it feels like change for the better!

 

These are a few of our favorite things

The end of a year wouldn’t be the complete without a top ten list – so here are a few of our favorite things (in no particular order!)

1. Rooftop garden at 1130 S. Michigan Avenue, Chicago

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19 custom WS-7200 planters in metal-infused aluminum.  We love the way they put the planters in place first, then built the decking around them.

2. Barnes & Noble TWIG bench project, Palo Alto, CA

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The campus is a cool place already, but the TWIG makes an incredible statement, providing a focal point, communal meeting point, and artistic element all in one.  It’s hard to imagine another product that could have that kind of impact there.

3. The CCDC project, Washington, DC

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Every project can’t be accurately depicted with just a pretty picture! This project was immensely complicated, from a design, tooling & manufacturing standpoint. The customer pushed our timeline on several occasions, and our team responded every time. The product itself probably won’t go down as particularly memorable, although it was nearly 75 unique FRP planter liners, but our performance, in our mind, stood heads and shoulders above anything else we’d been called to do this year. We are rather proud of this one!

4. Our new color palette

Apple @ Gables Uptown Trail, Dallas, TX

Apple @ Gables Uptown Trail, Dallas, TX

Additions to our new standard colors were a big seller this year as they just can’t help but bring a smile to your face. Shown here in apple, we have also added mandarine, alarm, canary and puddle. We will be keeping our eyes out for the new color trends of 2014, and color matching is always available.

5. Everyone’s abuzz about the Buzz Bench…

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…And, how can you not be! The Buzz Bike Bench was a hit at Dwell on Design and followed that up with a submission at the Museum of Craft & Design in SF. We look forward to future collaborations with Luxxbox of Australia.

Imagine & Innovate 2014

From our December email blast…tournesolsiteworks_jan_13

Nobody is innovating greenwall like Tournesol Siteworks! This year we’ve watched the living wall market’s continued growth – but recognized we’re still in the early days. We’ve knitted together a network of reliable installing contractors that know and understand our systems, and got tremendous feedback that has continued to drive our development efforts. Looking forward to 2014, we are excited about the new products that enhance our already market-leading VGM modular living wall, and expanding the opportunities to put greenwall in places where it wasn’t practical before. With the start of a new year, this is the time to explore your options regarding green wall installations.

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Our new sponge-like stabilized media block for VGM living wall modules answers many of the questions that customer ask. The stabilized media simplifies irrigation and leads to a more uniform moisture level as well as minimizes falling soil (even without the media bag). The unique structure ensures aeration at the plant ‘s roots, which speeds grow-in and keeps plants at their healthiest. We work with one of the leading horticulturalists working with this type of material – it’s a great fit.

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The VGP is our inventive tray-based green wall system. It’s a cost-efficient solution for small to medium size walls. The installation above, at a private residence in Marin County, was set up last week and will be planted this week. VGP is perfect for residential and light commercial installations. Look for our advertisements in the most upcoming issues of LAM and Architectural Record. Explore your options!

AND, FINALLY…

Our new full-line catalog is coming!! This year’s book will be 112 pages of applications, images, product information and technical data.  We’re anticipating that it will be mailed mid-January.  If you feel like you haven’t been on our mailing list for catalogs in a while (and would like a mailed copy), please send your contact information to catalog@tournesolsiteworks.com.

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This year we’re approaching the organization of the catalog somewhat differently. In the past we’ve usually put the “newer” product groups towards the front, and put the pots & planters (still our biggest single category) towards the back. We’re now dividing things between “product you can see” (site furnishings, pots & planters, our new Boulevard wood tiles) towards the front, and the “stuff you don’t” (deck & paver pedestalsgreenwallcontainer irrigationroot barrier & drainage control) towards the back. With products grouped in six categories, it’s a lot to organize!  We hope that it will be easier to use, and would appreciate your feedback.

 

 

Lessons from Boston – and where’s our bench??

Lessons from Boston

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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.

Some observations:

  • 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

All the Buzz at Museum of Craft & Design

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.”

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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.

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Let the Competition Begin!

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.

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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.”

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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

Park(ing) Day has found its traction.

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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.

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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.

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SAA Design Group sees this event as an opportunity to re-imagine our urban landscape and highlight the value of our civic spaces.

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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.

 

Colorful Containers by Popular Demand

We get a lot of requests for pots, planters and trellis products finished in unique, project-specific colors. We can only offer so many as standard, so we color match on a regular basis. Some of these colors eventually find their way to our blog, advertisements, or on our websites. Slowly but surely, we get more and more customers asking for specific non-standard colors.

Due to their popularity, we recently added several of these colors, plus a few more, to our standard color pallet for all our FRP fiberglass pots.  Shown first at Dwell on Design this year, the new “standards” have gotten terrific response!

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They are all available now, at no additional cost. We’re still happy to match colors for specific projects, and we always welcome color requests and suggestions from our clients. Continue reading

PIE in the Las Vegas sky

Several hundred interior and exterior landscapers gathered at the Plantscape Industry Expo (PIE) in Las Vegas this week. From the sights and sounds, the general overall business outlook was positive and there was a high degree of interest in the living wall product options. If you didn’t have a chance to visit us, here are a few pics of those who did.

Mark Whitten of Green House Nurseries in Arleta, CA is having a “first look” at our new product – VersiWall with Jon Willingham, Southwestern sales representative.

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Continue reading