Category Archives: Parking Structures

Queen Anne’s Playful Uptown Parklet

Parklets are popping up all over the country, especially in major cities, and are beginning to change the pedestrian environment. These little “mini parks” have allowed the community to build public spaces for meeting, socializing, and as urban oases. Parklets have become really popular due to PARKing Day, a nation-wide celebration day rivaling the automobile-focused environment. It’s a day where the public takes back urban street parking slots and creates temporary parks filled with designers, artists and people seeking community interaction.

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Two years ago, the city of Seattle was challenged by PARKing Day and recognized its success in other cities such as San Francisco and Los Angeles. Since the city sought to create a number of parklets all over Seattle, the Seattle Department of Transportation (SDOT) announced its Pilot Parklet Program. The program opened an application process for communities and neighborhoods to submit for a parklet to be constructed in their urban area.

Seattle’s VIA Architecture, on behalf of VIA’s Community Design Studio, worked with a civic organization called The Uptown Alliance (which represents the Uptown Urban Center) to submit an application for the Queen Anne district. The “Uptown Parklet” was selected as one of 10 parklets and was fortunate enough to be one of the first constructed as part of the pilot program. Slater Construction, out of Seattle, worked with the team of designers, community volunteers and architects to build this parklet, completed in February 2015.


We revisited this cool parklet this month (March 15), which features Tournesol Siteworks’ Boulevard Wood for the decking, benches and planter cladding. Our Boulevard thermally-modified 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.

Weathering reveals the wood’s natural patina to a silver, grayish color (as shown in the photo above). The thermal-modification process also prevents moisture absorption (which is great for Seattle’s occasionally wet weather) and makes Boulevard wood resistant to warp, twist and other movement.


Th Uptown Parklet is the perfect place for our Boulevard wood, with the public interaction, environmental exposure and continual community use. The wood has withstood wonderfully! We’re so glad that the Queen Anne district is enjoying their Uptown Parklet…go Seattle!

We Love Custom Planters & Projects!

In Southern California, Irvine Company® is a privately held real-estate investment company respected for its stewardship and master planning. Among their various properties is Irvine Spectrum Center, which is known as Orange County’s epicenter for cultural entertainment, dining and shopping. Other projects involve properties all over Southern California, including development of a parking structure at 350 Spectrum Center Drive near Irvine Spectrum Center.

Wilshire Collection Fiberglass Rectangular Planters


For this parking structure, LPA, architects out of Irvine, CA, collaborated with landscape architects Burton Landscape Architecture Studio, from Solano Beach. Burton created the parking area which is large and wide-open, yet the design layout required custom-sized planters. Recently. Burton contacted Tournesol Siteworks and requested 21 of our Wilshire Collection rectangular planters custom ordered to eight feet in length by five feet wide and 30″ height.


Wilshire Collection rectangular planters divide and organize space with their clean, simple style and no bottom reveal. The planters bring greenery and life to the urban parking structure. Valley Crest, out of Irvine, CA, installed the planters and filled the pots with lush greenery to bring life to the urban parking structure.


The Wilshire planters were manufactured in our lightweight FRP fiberglass specified in the custom color “Balboa Mist”. For the texture, Burton chose the smooth, conventional finish of T-0.  This project was well-done and allows the customers of the parking structure to enjoy more than a place to park, but a greener urban space.

Burbank Towers

The Burbank Tower, located at 3900 West Alameda in Burbank, CA , rises over the busy entertainment hub along the Ventura Freeway with hundreds of media firms surrounded by Universal, Warner Bros. and Disney studios. Recently purchased by the Worthe Real Estate Group, the Tower has undergone a renovation “to appeal to people in the entertainment industry.”


During the renovation process, Tourensol Siteworks was called in by OJB The Office of James Burnett to find out if our hanging Wilshire Box planters could be modified for their specific application. As seen above, we fabricated 5 different lengths of our 18″W x 24″H boxes (96″, 93″, 75″, 72″ and 60″), and painted them a custom color to match the building.  Each set of boxes (and there are typically 3 per set) were designed with  plumbed irrigation and drainage lines

The project was purchased and installed by Krismar Construction in March, and the photographs were just taken this month.


The lightweight fiberglass box, pre-engineered brackets, and the easy-to-use mounting template have been designed for fast, simple installation by the contractor. Wilshire Boxes are used to contain plants on green facade projects, parking structures, and spandrel and parapet walls.

Wilshire FRP fiberglass Boxes are available in 3 different size ranges, (10″W x 12″H, 12″W x 18″H, 18″W x 24″H). The simple styling works with most building types, and highlights the plants rather than the planter. The hanging brackets are powder coated with stainless mounting studs. The brackets tuck into the back of the box, so the planter can snug up next to the wall. It’s a system used in hundreds of installations nationwide, and one of the most commonly found systems on parking structures today.


Green Wall Getaway

This week, San Francisco is the place to be for green walls and green roofs at 

121We are proud to once again be exhibiting at the Cities Alive Conference. As an inspirational and educational event for the green roof and wall industry, it features over 100 speakers, exhibitor showcase, professional development courses and “green” city tours. This industry-wide collaboration is a great opportunity to explore living architecture and see what the future holds!

Tournesol Siteworks continues to be a leader in the green wall field with exciting new innovations and installations. We look forward to seeing you at the conference this week, but in the meantime, here is a sneak peak at what it is all about – making an urban environment more green, healthy and beautiful.


Project: Juniper Networks of Sunnyvale, CA

RMW Architects of San Jose and Taniguchi Landscape Architecture of San Mateo contacted us about using our VGM Modular Living Wall on the new Juniper Networks parking garage. The structure is visible from across the campus including the outdoor patio spaces, and the goal was to enhance and soften the view of the parking structure.  Continue reading Green Wall Getaway

A Historic Renovation

Founded in 1881, Pearl Brewery of San Antonio, Texas, was one of the largest breweries in the state. Adjacent to the old stables where the brewery housed its draft horses is a new 22-acre multi-use complex with restaurants, shops and park space developed by Lake/Flato.


Tournesol Siteworks worked extensively on the project in conjunction with landscape architect Rialto Studio, installation contractor, LMI, and our distributor partner Ewing Irrigation. In addition to the previously installed Wilshire Boxes on the parking garage (above), the final phase included an array of metal infused fiberglass planters.

The Pearl Brewery renovation chose the Urban Collection in our metal-infused finishes- Sleek, simple, and elegantly proportioned, they work with most modern designs.


While the design might be simple, their choice of using T-0 texture on some portions of the project (above) and T-2 texture on others (below) was unusual. When using metal-infused colors (bronze above, aluminum below), clients tend to order a T-0 (smooth) finish. The decision ended up being a great solution as the color looks rich, and the texture offers a more durable finish. In this case the texture hid any staining that occurs on the metal as well.


Architectural Record recently showcased this amazing re-purposing project that took an asphalt-covered site and turned it into a thriving multi-use complex. Beyond restaurants, this lively urban district includes a branch of the Culinary Institute of America, a farmer’s market, residential units and an outdoor amphitheatre.

pearl map

We are proud to be part of such a comprehensive sustainability project. Now completed, the site has planted over 660 trees and the rest of the landscape is comprised of native and adapted plants that requiring less water. In addition, the old brewing vats hold recycled rainwater. The final plans involve renovation of the brewhouse back into a microbrewery!


Checking in – Southwest Washington Medical Center, Vancouver, WA

The Southwest Washington Medical Center Parking Structure, Vancouver, WA

Back in the Fall of 2005, we were just starting to hang planters off the side of buildings. We had recently acquired Flower Framers of Cincinnati, a manufacturer of window boxes and other hanging planters. That led to the insight that we could probably do the same type of product for larger commercial applications.  The planters at the Southwest Washington Medical Center, installed in 2005,  were one of our first attempts at the design and fabrication of large, custom hanging boxes.  The photograph taken above, and most following, were taken by our sales manager John Denman during a visit to Vancouver, WA in December, 6 years after the product was installed.

Custom hanging planters, taken in the Fall of 2011

Continue reading Checking in – Southwest Washington Medical Center, Vancouver, WA

Rivers Casino Parking Structure – VertiGreen 3D Trellis in Des Plaines, IL

VertiGreen 3D trellis at the Rivers Casino parking structure

Tournesol Sitework’s VertiGreen modular 3D trellis system was recently installed at this new casino parking structure project in Des Plaines, IL. The Rivers Casino called on the Elgin, IL office of  national parking structure consultant Walker Parking Consultants for the design. Katrina Laughlin of Laughlin Assocs. provided the landscape design. Continue reading Rivers Casino Parking Structure – VertiGreen 3D Trellis in Des Plaines, IL

University Gateway Custom Planters, Los Angeles

When landscape architect Melendrez Assocs. was working on the planters for this student housing project on the Univ. of Southern California campus in Los Angeles, they had originally envisioned 24′ long, galvanized steel troughs.  While that may have seemed like an inexpensive solution, the custom fabricating cost, durability, and long-term maintenance made the planters relatively expensive.

Tournesol Siteworks was brought in to look at the job, and was able to provide a lower-cost, more reliable solution by creating custom fiberglass planters with an “unbuffed” aluminum finish. It looks and feels like metal, but doesn’t have the shine of the finished aluminum product.  More pictures after the break…

Continue reading University Gateway Custom Planters, Los Angeles