Category Archives: Hospitality

It’s Tuesday – where am I??

Roofdecks at the CCDC project (using our planter liners), Washington DC

“Why do all the industry trade shows get stacked on top of one another?”, I found myself thinking after ten days on the road. The last six weeks have been full of travel & conferences – Bond MultiFamily (a meetup of architects & product manufacturers specializing in multi-family residential construction) in April, followed by the mid-year meeting of the Landscape Architecture Foundation in Washington DC in early May.  The photo above was taken of the CCDC project in Washington during the LAF meeting. We provided planter liners for the roofdeck gardens for this spectacular project – we’ll feature it in a blog post soon.

HD Expo
Visiting with designers at the HD Expo in Las Vegas – the South Chair in white, the Pillow Chair in orange

From there it was on to trade shows – Over the past two weeks we’ve exhibited at the American Institute of Architects National Convention (Atlanta), the Hospitality Design Expo (Las Vegas), the International Contemporary Furniture Fair (in New York with our partners from Luxxbox), and finally RECon (Las Vegas), the exhibition of the Intenational Council of Shopping Centers.

We met with well over 500 architects, interior designers, landscape architects and shopping center owners/managers.  There’s nothing like listening to your existing and potential customers – enlightening, to say the least.

hd expo linq
Viewing installed GFRC Urban Collection planters at the Linq, Las Vegas


Some of the highlights from the shows:

The South Chair and the Pillow Chair (see photo below). Both come in bright, interesting colors which grab designer’s attention. We knew that bright colors were in – but this confirmed it. While very different in execution, they herald our entrance into the cafe and casual furniture business.

Combine wood with brightly colored metal or concrete and people will notice it. Our Boulevard wood, whether in planters, furnishings or flooring, was the clear star of the show. The sustainable story, combined with its natural good looks makes it easy to get excited about.

Tournesol partner James Shaffer of Streetscapes with an architect in our booth at RECon – The South Chair in black and berry, the Pillow Chair in orange

We’ve traditionally found our “sweet spot” with landscape architects.  Nevertheless, architects have been showing greater interest in the range of products we offer – especially living walls, wood decking and pedestals, Wilshire Box hanging planters and VersiCell drainage panel.  Being at the AIA convention was a great experience this year.

A surprise from this series of shows was the number of commercial interior designers that actively specify products in our markets. We met several that have specified us in the past (especially in the hospitality business), and most really like the work we do. It was a great reminder that our reach is sometimes greater than we think!

Checking out the recent installation of Brisbane benches featuring Boulevard wood near Las Vegas

CitiesAlive green roof and living wall conference – Nashville

We were at the CitiesAlive conference last week – the Green Roofs for Healthy Cities conference in Nashville, TN. It’s a great show, where we see many of the designers and contractors working on roofdeck projects around the country. There were a lot of new visitors to the show – this is the first time that the conference has been held in the SouthEast, and there is a real move forwards this type of construction here. Our living wall systems (VGM3 and VGP, VertiGreen trellis) still get a lot of attention, but the real star of the show has been the Boulevard wood tiles. These folks install a lot of wood structural tiles, and between the VersiJack pedestals and tiles we got a lot of inquiries!


As part of the conference, I was asked to speak on a panel discussing “Living walls- expectation vs. reality”. I spoke with Melissa Daniels of Plant Connection in New York (one of the most knowledgable person on living wall plants around) and Greg Long of Capital Greenroofs in Washington DC. You’ll remember Greg from is installation of the VGM wall at 1275 Pennsylvania in Washington. I was asked to present on the client’s perspective on living walls. My point- there are many “clients”. Whether the building owner that commits to the green wall, the facility manager responsible for maintnenance, or the architect or designer, each had a different perspective (and measure of success).


The conference was held at the brand-new Omni hotel in Nashville. Our pedestals were used (over 6000 total) on the pool deck and recreation area under the ipe paver tiles (by our friends at Eco-Arbor) and concrete pavers. It is a beautiful installation- and you’ll never see our products! It was one of the first really large pedestal projects we worked on, and one that we were anxious to see the results of. Overall it was a great installation – the pedestals did their job, and felt solid underfoot. There wasn’t anyone out enjoying the pool- it was only 27deg that morning!


This show/conference has become a can’t-miss on our schedule. It gives us the chance to see the main players in green roof and green wall from around the country in one place. We met with the folks that have installed some of our largest projects this year, and it gives us the chance to get important feedback.

We don’t have a lot of time to decompress, however, because the ASLA conference is this week!

From Coast to Coast

Our partners, Tom and Sheila Boyce from DeepStream Designs, visited us from Florida last week. It was a great opportunity to show them our facility and give them a deeper understanding of our products and processes. While they were here, they shared with us images from one of their latest east coast Tournesol installations.

Movable fiberglass planters on casters at Rockerfeller Center by DeepStream Designs

Rockefeller Center’s Summer Garden

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.

Movable fiberglass planters on casters at Rockerfeller Center by DeepStream Designs

Our Wilshire Rectangles and Urban 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 them on casters enabled easy and fast reconfiguration of the space – critical for this multi-purpose location!

Movable fiberglass planters on casters at Rockerfeller Center by DeepStream Designs

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.  Both are available in FRP fiberglass and lightweight GFRC concrete, in a huge range of sizes and durable enough for most installations.

Movable fiberglass planters on casters at Rockerfeller Center by DeepStream DesignsWe’ve been working with DeepStream Designs for years, and appreciate them including us in this high profile location!


Showcasing a Green Wall

Celebrated as one of the highest vegetated walls in the Los Angeles area, the green wall at the  Loews Hotel in Santa Monica, CA is a spectacular design by Kollin Altomare and Wilson Associates Landscape Architects – a true showcase piece. The owner of the hotel plans to cover nearly the entire facade of the building with plants, but sensibly decided to put up a substantial “test wall” before proceeding further.


Installed by GreenScaped Buildings, the wall is 586 square feet, and incorporates 180 VGM 6” modules with a total of 2,880 plants. The Tournesol VGM® system is a recycled plastic living wall module attached to stainless steel hanging rails.  Once grown in it provides instant, complete coverage of any vertical surface.


Continue reading Showcasing a Green Wall

Great new musical video tour of VGM Living Walls in SoCal

Our friends at Greenscaped Buildings in San Diego recently put together a terrific video of several installations they’ve done in Los Angeles. Some we’ve previously featured in our blogs, others are seen here for the first time.

Continue reading Great new musical video tour of VGM Living Walls in SoCal

Westport Plaza – St. Louis, MO

Westport Plaza, St. Louis, MO - all photos courtesy of Farthingale Ornamentals
Westport Plaza in St. Louis, MO – all photos courtesy of Farthingale Ornamentals

Owned by Lodging Hospitality Management and managed by Cassidy – Turley, the Westport Plaza is a new style of business park/shopping center/entertainment complex. According to their website: Continue reading Westport Plaza – St. Louis, MO

Follow up: VGM Living Walls still going strong!

VGM Living Wall at Fashion Valley Mall, 8 months after installation
VGM Living Wall at Fashion Valley Mall, 8 months after installation

If you read our blog occasionally, you know that we like to go back and look at projects once they are installed. We believe that a project is more than just the pretty picture taken immediately after install. Even when things go wrong (and they do, occasionally), we pride in making sure that we take care of the problems.

Continue reading Follow up: VGM Living Walls still going strong!

Seasons 52 Living Wall – Century City, CA

It’s easy to be jealous of the publicity that Greenscaped Buildings’ projects keep getting for their work. They’ve been continuing their work with our VGM3 living wall product, most recently at the Seasons 52 restaurant in Century City. The news report below features this 100 sq. ft. living wall.

We appreciate their work, which makes us look great! We look forward to more coming up in 2013.

Sheraton Delfina – Double-sided VGM living wall

Double-sided VGM Modular living wall at the Sheraton Delfina, Santa Monica
Double-sided VGM Modular living wall at the Sheraton Delfina, Santa Monica

We get many requests from designers that want to install double-sided VGM living walls. The Sheraton Delfina pooldeck project, designed by major hospitality design firm Dawson Design Associates, is the first opportunity we’ve had to get images of this type of installation. Dawson recently completed a “renovation & repositioning” (according to their website) of this downtown Santa Monica resort facility.

A steel-tube structure is anchored in an FRP Wilshire Collection planter
A steel-tube structure is anchored in an FRP Wilshire Collection planter

Continue reading Sheraton Delfina – Double-sided VGM living wall

Grand Hyatt Entrance Renovation, San Francisco, CA

The new entrance to the Grand Hyatt, San Francisco

If you know San Francisco, you probably know the Grand Hyatt. Less than a block off Union Square, its enterance sits right on Stockton St. This large facility seems to host a never-ending chain of conferences, events, and important guests. The entry has always been somewhat “quirky”. The side-slope hill and assymmetric entrance to the right was originally designed with a set of steps leading to nowhere (see photo below).

Continue reading Grand Hyatt Entrance Renovation, San Francisco, CA