Category Archives: Public Projects

Miracle on 34th St – Blast from the Past!

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This week, our Northeast Sales Manager, Phil Sheldon, was in New York visiting a few customers. He had an opportunity to revisit our products on the streets of New York, that we delivered nearly 15 years ago, and see how well the planters are holding up.

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34th St. Partnership Planters NYC

Back in 2002, we rotationally molded custom LLD polyethylene planters for the 34th St. partnership, a business improvement district in midtown Manhattan. We began working with their designer, Ignacio Ciocchini, as he was looking at various materials for the pots. He started the discussion assuming the pots would be made in FRP fiberglass. We convinced him that plastic could be done attractively, and be far more durable than the fiberglass.

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The planters are still there and will celebrate 15-years on New York city streets. They look remarkably fresh, given the traffic levels that they have to withstand. They all look like they could use a good cleaning (lots of splotches, likely from dirt that has splashed up from the sidewalk or the street). Because we used a custom green matrix finish, the dirt isn’t as noticeable as it would be on a solid-color pot.

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Planters in front of Penn Station, NYC

The planters see a lot of abuse and are subject to everything that happens on the sidewalk. They are in many places, in front of hotels with the luggage carts that may bump into them, as well as Madison Square Gardens above Penn Station. Even with all the abuse, the planter units have very little scuffing or physical damage – just a lot of grime.

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These pots replaced custom cast concrete planters, that only lasted a few years. That is a testament (a miracle, have you) to the durability of the material in a extremely taxing environment!

Green Walls and Living Walls at Cane Island, Katy, TX

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Cane Island in Katy, Texas, is a new residential complex with 1,100 acres of master-planned community living featuring indoor and outdoor landscape design. AndersonBaron, a full-service planning and landscape architecture firm, designed the landscape environment with modular units for green walls and living walls bringing a new concept of green architecture.

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AndersonBaron specified our VertiGreen Hybrid trellis system to climb the large, 15 foot bollards that line the main access road of the entrance to Cane Island. Our partner distributors at Ewing Irrigation and Supply collaborated with Shooter & Lindsey, a commercial landscaping contractor which installed the VertiGreen trellises. Our VertiGreen Hybrid trellis system consists of a recycled plastic plant growing module (VGM), set into a double-panel trellis system.

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The plants are grown in the module (either on its own or pre-installed in the trellis), and hung on the wall once the plants are rooted. No separate planter or container is required, so it can be easily used in areas distant from the ground or another planter. The trellis system mounts to the wall with a simple bracket, like the original VertiGreen trellis. Either the plant growing module or the entire panel can be quickly removed for maintenance. In a blog by David Olson, public relations specialist for Ewing, David says they supplied the irrigation products for the bollards and other features. He writes,

“Construction of the bollards began in February 2015, and the first planting was over the summer. Shooter & Lindsey took delivery of the planters and grew the flowers at their offices while the bollards were under construction.”

Also in his blog, David quotes Luis Andrade, Ewing account manager, who stated about the project,

‘It’s a different concept…not just green design, but also modular so it can be changed every year.’

Shooter & Lindsey is growing plants for the bollards that can be switched each season so the plants will always have color and be constantly in bloom regardless of the season.

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Another extremely large and beautiful green wall was installed inside the Cane Island Recreation Center. AndersonBaron chose our VGP Tray-Based Living Wall System design for the two-sided interior green wall. The VGP system offers versatility, easy installation, and a lush, rich-looking living wall. The total dimensions of the living wall measure a whopping 18 feet high by 16 feet wide, standing three feet above the ground to total 21 feet in height! The green wall consists of over 1,100 VGP-01 trays, made of recycled polypropylene. For the plant sizes 148 of the VGP-1636 Mounting Panels were required to hang the VGP trays at standard 6″ intervals. The generously-sized pots will allow for long term growing, and easy replacement or change-out as desired. The trays drain overflow from a reservoir (sub-irrigation) allowing the plant water to drain to a specific point. This two-sided wall features about 7,500 Dianthus plants, which flower heavily and will cover the wall beautifully.

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Our partners at Ewing Irrigation have produced a video displaying the ease of mounting and installing our VGP Living Wall System  – click here to watch the video. The Cane Island living wall is a sight to see and we can’t wait to revisit in a year or two and take a look at how well it has fully grown.

New Orleans: ASLA, Botanical Garden & Omni Riverfront Hotel

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The ASLA ’16 Expo in New Orleans was a hit! It was good to see everyone, and thank you to those who stopped by our Tournesol Siteworks booth to say hello and see our new product offerings, like the accessory pockets, and our Thermally-Modified Boulevard Wood products. There were many architects and landscape architects in attendance, while the sessions allowed learning and collaborating, to take place. We’re already looking forward to next year’s expo in Los Angeles.

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Our booth at the ASLA ‘!6 Expo in New Orleans

While we were in town, we took the opportunity to visit a few projects that Tournesol Siteworks has participated in and we admired the final installations of our products. At the New Orleans Botanical Garden in City Park, Jeffrey Carbo Landscape Architects, from Baton Rouge, specified our VGM Modular Living Wall as the arrival to the garden entrance. City Park has been undergoing renovations this past year and the green wall is proudly placed at the new Arrival Garden and Event Court.

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Arrival Garden and Event Court at New Orleans Botanical Garden

Our partners at Ewing Irrigation and Landscape Supply collaborated with Rotolo Consultants Inc. who installed the beautiful living wall. The full VGM green wall is 1,000 square feet and is a vertical, lush garden presentation which introduces the park entrance to garden visitors.

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VGM Green Wall at the Botanical Garden

Our group also visited the Omni Riverfront Hotel where Forstall Interiorscapes, in New Orleans, specified planters from our Urban Collection in squares and rectangles. Forstall installed the planters after choosing our Metal Matched Paint in the color iron, from our various options of materials and finishes. The MMP Iron color mimics the look of our more expensive metal-infused pots. The MMP painted colors, unlike the real metals, won’t change over time, providing predictability for commercial applications.

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Wilshire Box Hanging Planters at VA Hospital, New Orleans

Another visit was to the VA Hospital in New Orleans where our Wilshire Box Hanging Planters were installed, and specified by landscape architects from Rotolo Consultants Inc. The 45 rectangular hanging planters are in various lengths, yet  all are 18″W x 36″H and cover the parking structure horizontally.

Our sales and marketing team had a great time in New Orleans enjoying the landscape architecture, history, architecture, music, food, culture, and atmosphere. Can’t wait to return!

 

Our Thermally-Modified Wood in The New York Times

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At the beginning of October, we at Tournesol Siteworks were excited to be selected for a special article in the design section of The New York Times (in print and online), written by Julie Lasky. The article, titled “Architects and Designers Pick Their Favorite New Textiles, Paints and Hardware” featured recent product designs that were selected as favorites by a distinguished group of architects and designers.

Our Boulevard Thermally-Modified Structural Wood Tiles were chosen by Mikyoung Kim, of mikyoung kim design in Boston. She commented that the wood “frees us from using exotic hard woods on our roof decks.” To view the online article, click here.  For a print version of the article see here: tournesol-siteworks-new-york-times-10-6-16.

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Tournesol Siteworks’ Boulevard Thermally-Modified Structural Wood Tiles

America In Bloom – Step Right Up

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A few weeks ago, Tournesol Siteworks was contacted by Edith Makra, a enthusiastic supporter of urban wood (it’s how we met her) and board member of America in Bloom.

America in Bloom is a national organization that promotes beautiful, livable communities and cultivates civic leaders as stewards. We recognize the most exceptional communities in the country with awards, a ‘bloom rating’ and sometimes grants to help them plant and beautify their communities.”

 

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Photo courtesy of America in Bloom

This is a wonderful organization experienced in bringing communities  together. Their vision:

 “America in Bloom envisions communities across the country as welcoming and vibrant places to live, work, and play – benefiting from colorful plants and trees; enjoying clean environments; celebrating heritage; and planting pride through volunteerism.”

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Photo Courtesy of America in Bloom

October 6-8, 2016 is their annual symposium being held in Arroyo Grande, CA. Edith described the symposium and requested a donation (from friends and supporters) to enter into their onsite and online fundraising auction. The auction raises money to support programs at America in Bloom and takes place during the symposium. Most of the audience and attendees of the symposium build and improve parks, plant flowers, and promote sustainable lifestyles. Tournesol Siteworks believes strongly in the mission of AIB, and has donated a lightweight fiberglass Harlie Collection planter for the auction. It’s one of our most attractive, which will hopefully draw bidders and help the cause.

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Harlie Collection Planter

The Harlie Collection is a planter designed by Luxxbox, our Australian partners from down under. Harlie planters are a cool, prismatic form with a distinct design edge and are durable for outdoor environments, even locations with heavy traffic. “Puddle” was the chosen color for this 24” Harlie planter in the finish “T-0,” which is a smooth, painted gel-coat surface. The strength of FRP fiberglass allows us to make pots and planters that hold incredible amounts of weight with remarkably thin walls. Because our fiberglass is designed to withstand being outdoors, Tournesol Siteworks typically uses a thicker, heavier wall section than most other fiberglass manufacturers.

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Harlie in White

In the online auction, donations and gifts are visible through the website Bidding for Good, just click here for the auction. If you are interested in bidding on our Harlie Collection planter, located at the onsite auction, please contact America in Bloom at 614-453-0744.

Parklet Project with an Ocean Theme

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Back in July, the Florida ASLA chapter event in Jacksonville, Florida, held a parklet competition for university students. The theme of the competition was the 100-year anniversary celebration of the National Parks Service. Tricia Keffer, Florida International University (FIU) student, reached out to Tournesol Siteworks. She is a student in the Master’s MLA program for Landscape Architecture and expects to graduate in spring 2018. Tricia asked if we would loan her and her team a few of our products to help build a parklet for their competition entry.

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Photo courtesy of Tricia Keffer

We were eager to help her team with the competition, since Tournesol Siteworks was exhibiting at the event and this was a good opportunity to present our products within our product loan program. For her team’s parklet, we provided our Thermally-Modified Boulevard Wood Structural Tiles with SpiraPave adjustable deck and paver supports. Our Boulevard Wood (shown in the photo below) 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 and makes Boulevard wood resistant to warp, twist and other movement.

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Photo courtesy of Tricia Keffer

Our Harlie Collection planter made of lightweight FRP Fiberglass also provided ambiance for the setting along with our South Chairs, one in a tall seat and one shorter-sized stool. Tricia’s blog about the contest can be found here: http://plantspeoplelove.com/flasla-16-parklet-competition. Kindly, she answered a few question regarding her inspiration and the competition entry.

“My inspiration was the Florida Keys, and the natural beauty of the waterfront areas and the underwater world. So I decided the National Marine Sanctuary would be my park to showcase. One day I passed by a store called “Ocean Gardens” in Islamorada. The name of the store was my design strategy. My idea was for people to experience the plant world that is underwater.”

“I did the planning, the design, and the building part. My fellow students from the student FL ASLA chapter pitched in with the chalk ‘underwater’ drawing on the front, the plants, and tweaking. It took about 2 hours to put it all together on site. It was a fun experience. ”

Photo courtesy of Tricia Keller

“I decided to enter the parklet competition because it was a great opportunity to meet and work with vendors. It was my first Landscape Architect conference and I really enjoyed working with your company. Actually seeing how the products were set up and the look and feel of them is handy for my future designs than just looking online. I think the decking in particular really brought the whole design together. The clean look and feel of the wood set the stage for the seating.”

We’re thrilled to have been part of Tricia’s team build for the parklet competition and, although she wasn’t the winner, we know she had a blast designing the parklet and displaying her skills and talent in landscape architecture. We wish her all the best in her upcoming career.

 

 

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.

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!

 

Thermally Modified Wood at McMullen Museum of Art

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Have you ever seen a piece of art that stops you in your tracks? Sometimes a peaceful feeling washes over you, or maybe you’re drawn to a memory of another place or experience. Per Pablo Picasso, “Art washes away from the soul the dust of everyday life,” and I tend to agree. Speaking of art, the McMullen Museum of Art at Boston College, houses amazing works of art and also offers distinctive exhibitions, gallery talks and other events which bring the public to the museum.

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McMullen Museum of Art, Boston College

Last fall, the McMullen Museum of Art moved to a new location on the university’s Brighton Campus located in the former residence of Boston’s Cardinal Archbishop. The building, originally designed by Boston architects Maginnis and Walsh, was built in 1927 in the Roman Renaissance Revival Style. Modern architects DiMella Shaffer Associates out of Boston, collaborated with landscape architects from Carol R. Johnson Associates (CRJA) on the redesign.

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Side Balcony

For the remodel, CRJA specified Tournesol Siteworks’ products for a beautiful new 7’W x 20’L balcony and a 1,400 sq.ft amenity deck. Consigli Construction Co., out of Milford, MA, completed the installation. CRJA specified our Boulevard Structural Wood Tiles along with our Sliding Wood Tile Fasteners to connect the tiles in place. The wood tiles are 24″ x 24″ and are produced from Boulevard thermally-modified wood which goes through a process that 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 Boston’s winter weather) and makes Boulevard wood resistant to warp, twist and other movement. Over time, weathering will reveal the wood’s natural patina to a silver, grayish color.

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Amenity Deck

Along with our wood tiles, they selected our VersiJack support pedestals in various sizes. VersiJack are twist-to-adjust height pedestals, needed to accommodate this project for heights from 1-1/2″ up to 11″. The pedestals create a broad, stable base that can support more weight than any other pedestal system. Due to unevenness and slope of the deck base, they required our Platform Slope Correctors which can correct from 0% to 5% slope at 1% increments. Because this type of corrector sits on top of the pedestal, it is faster and easier to adjust to the correct slope, as well as being less expensive than a bottom slope corrector.

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VersiJack Adjustable Pedestals

This installation also required our low-raised decking product,  SpiraPave Adjustable Deck & Paver Support Jacks. This raised podium floor allows for rapid drainage, concealed services below, and reduced the installation cost compared to any other material.

We were excited to be part of the McMullen Museum of Art’s historic transformation and relocation – congratulations on their new digs!

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.