Category Archives: Site Furnishings

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.

 

 

 

 

 

TWIGs Enhance Portland’s Courtyard at One North

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Portland, Oregon, is a beautiful city which sits on the Columbia and Willamette rivers, is surrounded by lush greenery and has a view of Mt. Hood. One installation completed in spring this year is the One North office complex in the North Williams Avenue area in northeast Portland. The One North project consists of three buildings, surrounding a spacious courtyard that can be rented for public or private events by either tenants or the community.

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TWIG Bench at Courtyard at One North, Portland, OR

Architects from Holst Architecture and Path Architecture (both from Portland) designed both the East and the West Buildings (two out of three) at One North for developers Karuna Properties II, LLC. Landscape architects and designers from Lango Hansen Landscape Architects, out of Portland, specified Tournesol Siteworks‘ TWIG benches to create seating opportunities in the courtyard.

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The TWIG benches help create a highly configurable, modular seating system which promotes social interaction and a casual environment. TWIG 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; with each bench weighing only 700 lbs., this contributes to a low environmental footprint, both in terms of material content and shipping.

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. We helped with installation and design guidance, explaining how to waterproof the back of the benches and how to properly anchor the benches to the ground.

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A concealed mount bracket keeps the bench in place with epoxy anchors. The 11 on-grade TWIG benches create a more dynamic space by enhancing the straight horizontal and vertical lines of other features in the courtyard. There are many color options for the TWIG, but Lango Hansen picked a custom color shade of white for this project. They also installed skate stops, which help to deter skaters from doing ollies off the edges of the benches.

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Our TWIG benches are excellent for this environment as they offer ample seating, yet leave room for mingling and movement in the courtyard as well. We are thrilled to have been chosen to participate in this installation. The community has already held multiple events and we hope the rentals of the space continue.

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!

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.

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.

 

 

 

Yes, Yesler Terrace, on Your Way

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Seattle is an amazing city!  One part of Seattle’s downtown community is Yesler Terrace, originally built in 1941 as the city’s first subsidized housing area. It is centrally located close to jobs and transit options, and holds beautiful views of Mt. Rainier and downtown. Originally built as a low-income area, it’s newly being redeveloped into a mixed-income neighborhood.

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Raven Terrace is an 83 unit multi-family residential community designed by Weber Thompson, Architecture and Landscape Architecture firm, and built by Walsh Construction Company. It was completed in Dec. ’15 and unveiled this month (Feb. ’16). Weber Thompson specified four of Tournesol Siteworks’ highly-configurable TWIG benches and a slew of our Wilshire Collection rectangular and squares planters.

The installation our Tournesol’s material was handled by Cerna Landscape Inc., landscape contractors out of Renton, WA. Eight of our rectangular Wilshire lightweight concrete pots were custom ordered in sizes to fit exactly where desired, in the Sandblast texture and Shadow color. A few more of the square Wilshire planters were specified in the custom color “Amber Wave,” (the lighter tan color shown below), and were manufactured in FRP fiberglass with a smooth T-0 texture. The last few pots were FRP with T-0  in the color Puddle, including the 60″ round planter holding a tree within a larger planter area.

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Four of our GFRC concrete TWIG benches were installed as a focal point in the center area. The TWIG benches are a modular seating system, with each bench holding up to five people. The inclusion of our TWIG benches allows the neighbors the opportunity to stop and chat.

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The Yesler Terrace is an exciting, on-going project for Seattle (and especially for us) which may take quite a few years to complete, but it’s well on its way!

TWIG comes to Redwood City

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There is nothing quite as gratifying as doing work that goes into your own hometown. I live in Redwood City, CA, a smallish town in the middle of the San Francisco peninsula. Just recently a large new office building opened downtown. Box (the cloud storage company) is the major tenant.  I took these photos last weekend when walking downtown to see a movie. This plaza is just down the street from the theater.

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On the plaza in front of Box, several of our TWIG benches have been installed by Shooter and Butts landscape contractors . The project was designed by Korth Sunseri Hagey architects, and our friends at the Guzzardo Partnership (landscape architects). In addition to these three benches on grade, there are 10 more on the upper podium level, as well as 8 of our 60″ diameter Downtown Collection lightweight concrete pots. For the on-grade TWIG benches, Guzzardo specified our specially-made stainless steel skate stops. Our partners at Street & Garden Furniture in Australia would be pleased to see the complete installation!

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Redwood City is a rapidly redeveloping part of the peninsula – in addition to Crossing 900, there are many apartments and condominium complexes being built. We’ve had products specified in many of them. Downtown Redwood City is right on the train line into San Francisco and, up to this point most, development has been going south towards Palo Alto and Silicon Valley. We’re finally catching up – with a vengeance. I’m proud of the work we do, and it’s fun to be able to point out projects we work on to friends, especially when you can see the results. They’re always surprised with what I do for a living!

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Aquarian Collection Dressing up the Riviera

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Tournesol Siteworks was contacted by landscape design firm Kathleen Essick & Associates, located in the San Francisco Bay Area. The firm was selected to dress up the Riviera Plaza, 1600 Riviera Avenue in Walnut Creek, California. Choosing from our various collections of pots and planters, the decision was made that the Aquarian Collection added a modern feel to a somewhat dated entrance. and was ordered from Tournesol Siteworks’ distribution partner Sunborne Nursery in San Francisco.

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The water-jar shape of our Aquarian Collection FRP Fiberglass planters lended an appealing, unadorned elegance to the entrance of the building. From a variety of colors, they chose MMP Bronze which mimics the look of more expensive metal-infused finishes. The MMP Bronze paint, unlike the real metals, won’t change over time and will continue to provide predictability and stability.

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Since the planters were placed in a high traffic area, we recommended the T-1 texture because of its durability. The texture is applied to the FRP Fiberglass prior to painting, to enhance the endurance of the finish and to prevent scratching and abrasions.

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Along with the planters, they placed a color-matched Downtown Collection FRP Fiberglass receptacle with FRP receptacle lid. The receptacle is fitted with a removable polyethylene liner. After all, the trash has to go somewhere!

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Hey, Kool-Aid!! TWIG finds its way to Nebraska

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Tournesol Siteworks recently had the opportunity to collaborate with Brian Pecka, landscape architect with Big Muddy Workshop, in their design for the town of Hastings, Nebraska. Hastings is known as the place where Kool-Aid was invented in 1927 and still celebrates that event with an annual festival in August. The festival takes place on the Hastings Campus of Central Community College.

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Recently, a new seating plaza was unveiled outside the CCC’s Student Union Hall. Big Muddy Workshop used five of our TWIG Benches – they were looking for an organic shape and feel to break up the harsh lines of the plaza’s concrete surface. They worked on the project with Wilkins Architecture Design & Planning (WAEP), an architectural firm out of Kearney, Nebraska. General Contractor for the installation was Lacy Construction Company, from Grand Island.

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The TWIG Benches help create a highly configurable, modular seating system which promotes social interaction and a casual environment. TWIG originated with Street and Garden Furniture, our partner down under, in a design by Alexander Lotersztain. The benches are made from lightweight GFRC concrete.

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A concealed mount bracket keeps the bench in place with epoxy anchors. The TWIG Benches create a more dynamic space by breaking up the straight horizontal and vertical lines of other features in the plaza. At night, the seating plaza is lit up by the steel light posts creating a warm, lit effect across the space.

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The students actively use the seating area as a place to get outside and rest between classes, especially during nice weather. It is accessible in the front of the campus and the open shape of the TWIG creates a feeling of community.