Category Archives: Commercial

TWIG Benches and Urban Planters in Walnut Creek, CA

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The Pacific Plaza in Walnut Creek, California, is an office property of CBRE which offers tenants unobstructed views of nearby Mount Diablo. Recently, the exterior landscape received a renovation to modernize and refresh the building, and to increase the curb appeal. Gates & Associates Landscape Architecture was the specifier and chose Tournesol Siteworks‘ products for the project.

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White TWIG Benches with Urban Collection rectangular planters

Gates chose our Urban Collection planters with matching container irrigation. Along with the planters, Gates liked our TWIG benches in lightweight GFRC concrete. The three TWIG benches are highly configurable, modular seating that presents a pleasant, casual area in the front entrance of the Pacific Plaza. The installation of the planters and benches was completed by Brightview Landscape Development.

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Round Urban Collection White Planters

Various sizes of our lightweight FRP Fiberglass Urban Collection round planters were arranged, and 15 Urban Collection rectangles measuring 36″ x 24″ x 24″. Inside the white planters, matching CWM Modular Self-Watering Systems reduce maintenance and are designed for use in any large planter, freestanding or otherwise. Reservoir modules are linked together and buried within the pot. The hand-filled reservoir utilizes Tournesol Siteworks’ vacuum-sensor system to precisely monitor the soil moisture in the container, giving plants exactly the amount of water they need.

Gates & Associates also specified our Drainage Control Products, which are used to evacuate planters where no drainage can be tolerated (such as this plaza), provide overflow for excess water, and control drainage. Our Drainage Systems are designed to integrate with our irrigation and containers, yet can also work well with pots or planters from any manufacturer. We now feature a special level of waterproofing (called TourneSeal) for critical applications like this.

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Pacific Plaza Front Entrance

Gates & Associates created a nice, comfortable atmosphere at the Pacific Plaza and we were happy to have been chosen as part of this landscape remodel.

 

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.

 

 

 

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.

 

 

 

 

 

Harlie and Urban Collection Jamboree in Irvine!

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Southern California is booming with business and many office parks are updating their style to remain modern, sleek and appealing. One in particular is the Jamboree Center located in Irvine, CA. Jamboree is an office property of the Irvine Company -a large, privately held real-estate investment company with operations primarily in coastal California. Tournesol Siteworks had the opportunity to participate in the revitalization of this property which provides office space with five high-rises encompassed by plazas.

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Urban Collection Planters and Trash Receptacles in Jamboree Center Plaza

Landscape Architect, Danielle Cleveland, from LPA, Inc., architectural and design firm out of Irvine, CA, specified our products. While collaborating with our sales team on the design, style and color options for the upgrade, Danielle wanted to spruce up the landscape of the plazas.She chose our Urban Collection planters and trash receptacles, and our Harlie Collection planters with matching container irrigation, The installation was completed by Cuesta Construction from Costa Mesa, CA.

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Harlie Collection Planter and UrbanTrash Receptacle

The 24 multi-sized, Urban Collection square planters and 6 trash receptacles were manufactured in our lightweight  GFRC concrete,  specified in Acid Etch texture with the custom color match “Adobe” (Davis Colors). The trash receptacles are complete with matching FRP square trash only lids with a 9″ Dia. hole. Inside the planters, matching CWM Modular Self-Watering Systems reduce maintenance and are designed for use in any large planter, freestanding or otherwise. Reservoir modules are linked together and buried within the pot. The hand-filled reservoir utilizes Tournesol Sitework’s vacuum-sensor system to precisely monitor the soil moisture in the container, giving plants exactly the amount of water they need.

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Urban Collection

LPA also specified 8 planters from our Harlie Collection, designed by LuxxBox, our Australian partners from down under. Harlie holds a cool, prismatic form with a distinct design edge. Our CWC Container Irrigation insert fits inside and is a self-watering system designed to be dropped into tapered round (in this case, but also in square) decorative pots.

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Harlie Collection

Jamboree Center has been modernized by the design inspiration of LPA, Inc. and the professional display by Cuesta Construction, as the plazas continues to revitalize. Tournesol Siteworks is honored to have products at Jamboree and to be part of this project.

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!

 

 

 

Rockin’ Summer at Rockefeller Center

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Rockefeller Center in New York City’s Midtown Manhattan is famous – the center has been filmed in movies of many genres for decades. Each winter, Rockefeller Center clears out space to create and hold an enormous ice-skating rink in the middle, where kids of all ages can have a blast. In the summer, Rockefeller Center is home to restaurants, gatherings and social events drawing a community of people and visitors from around the world.

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About two years ago, we took a first look at a restaurant project located in Rockefeller Center where our products were sold by our partners Tom and Sheila Boyce from DeepStream Designs. Now we’re taking a second look at the project this month and showing an update from just last week.

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Wilshire Rectangles

At the time of installation, DeepStream Designs worked with Bob and Karen Hoffbauer of Julius Roehrs Co., and their client, Patina Group, for this restaurant area located directly at Rockefeller Center.

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Wilshire Rectangles

Our Wilshire Collection rectangles and Urban Collection square planters were a perfect choice for this location – easily adding green to the urban environment and being able to stand up to the abuse of a heavily trafficked restaurant. Placing the planters on casters enabled easy and fast reconfiguration of the space – critical for this multi-purpose location! Casters and other Planter Options are available for most of our planter collections.

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“Wall” of Wilshire Rectangular Planters

The Urban Collection is sleek, simple, elegantly proportioned and tapered to work with most modern designs. The Wilshire rectangles are a straight-walled product that when placed next to one another appears as a long continuous wall (as shown in the photo above). Both Wilshire and Urban collections are available in FRP fiberglass and lightweight GFRC concrete, in a large range of sizes and colors – durable enough for most installations.

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Urban Collection Square

After two years, Tournesol Siteworks’ planters still look great and are holding up so well. The public is able to enjoy the planters as they are movable for events and they can be enjoyed year round!

 

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

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.

It’s a Jungle out There!

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A few weeks ago, Tournesol Siteworks was invited to an open house hosted by our partners Instant Jungle International out of Santa Ana, California. Instant Jungle invited many architects and landscape architects to gather, and to present our green wall and living wall products. A couple of our sales people attended and had a great time!

Instant Jungle Open House
Photos courtesy of Instant Jungle

After enjoying an amazing BBQ lunch from TK Burgers, Greg Wallace (IJ) showed the attendees the displays their team created featuring our VGM Modular Living Wall, with plant growth in process. IJ also showed examples of our VGP Tray-based Living Wall System and TerraScreen Interior GreenWall.

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Our VGM system modules attach to stainless steel hanging rails and when mounted to a structurally sound wall, require minimal penetrations. 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.

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Photo courtesy of Instant Jungle

They explained how the VGP system offers versatility and easy installation desired by light commercial applications. The trays may be hung on a VGP mounting panel, standard 2″ x 3″ welded mesh or wire, or along rods or stainless steel rope. Each tray incorporates an anti-lift arm to prevent unwanted removal, but requires no other bolts or clips. Trays are hung at either 6″ or 9″ intervals, depending on the plant size and the project budget.

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

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Instant Jungle also presented the attendees with our TerraScreen Green wall, describing how it offers more flexibility than any other green wall system; designed so that the planting may be easily updated so the installation is appropriate to the style, season and environment. TerraScreen panels are made of powder-coated galvanized steel wire, with removable brackets to fasten the panel to the wall. Plants are placed in their 6” grow pot directly into the black no-hole cachepot. It is the solution to the challenge of installing a living wall that is instantly lush, and easy to refresh and maintain.

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Thank you, Instant Jungle International, for the open house and for inviting key players in the industry to show how magically to use our products to beautify their applications and projects. We are thrilled to be working with such a fabulous company and great partners.

 

 

 

Just Like in the Amazon – a Green Wall!

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The South Lake Union district of Seattle, WA, is a popping neighborhood being the “7th most walk-able” in Seattle and housing the headquarters of Amazon. All around the neighborhood there are beautiful spaces, restaurants and areas to build community and just hang out.  About four years ago the Amazon block building at 207 Boren Avenue in Seattle was completed with one of our very early VGM Modular living walls. We revisited the site recently, and thought we’d share what a green wall looks like after a few years.

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Revisit this year

 

Tournesol SiteworksVGM3 Modular Living Wall was specified by Callison RTKL Architects in collaboration with landscape architects from Walter Macy to be installed on an Amazon building wall that faces an open plaza. They created an immense green wall design that was expertly installed by landscape contractors from Teufel Landscape. Teufel was also responsible for pre-growing the plants, and installing the living wall modules once the plants had taken root.

Interestingly, the green wall has been through a few plant replacements, due to the placement of the wall to the sun, and a few plant types that were unhappy with their environment. Due to an irrigation issue, the entire wall needed to be replaced once- the maintenance crew discovered a leak in the irrigation and the building manager turned off the water to the entire green wall. The issue was with one of the modules and not the entire wall. Unfortunately, the wall failed without water to irrigate the plants, and the plants had to be replaced.  The replacements are fairly easy, but maintenance is key to the life of the green wall – after all it is a “living” wall.

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The green wall contains VGM3 modules, 6 rows high by 23 rows wide, with each module requiring two left and two right mounting brackets. The brackets attach the VGM3 system modules to stainless steel hanging rails which require minimal penetrations and mount to the structurally sound wall. Each planting module, made of 100% recycled polypropylene, has a generous 8” (in this project) 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.

Amazon Block SEattle 6-2-16
Photo Courtesy of Google Maps

The green wall on the Amazon block hopefully will continue to be enjoyed by those walking, riding their bikes, resting in this plaza, working near this building, or just strolling by for years to come!