Category Archives: Retail

The California TWIG

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In conjunction with Kilroy Realty Corporation and Landscape architects, Brumbaugh & Associates, Tournesol Siteworks appreciates the opportunity to be a part of another landmark office complex. Skyline Tower is a 24-story building located in Bellevue’s central business district near the transit center and neighboring pedestrian areas.

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Skyline Tower’s amenities include  impressive views of the Seattle skyline, Mt. Rainier, and the Olympic Mountains. It also offers a pedestrian friendly exterior plaza featuring our TWIG benches!

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Brumbaugh & Associates designed the exterior space and used 8 TWIG benches, in the color “Shark,” to provide not only seating, but visual interest to the area as well. TSW worked closely with the General Contractor, GLY,  in regards to production and delivery for an on-time installation for the grand opening of the plaza and its easy access to Bellevue Square.

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The TWIG bench was the first in a line of innovative products introduced by Tournesol Siteworks from the design studios of Street & Garden Furniture of Brisbane, Australia. Long a leading manufacturer down under, Tournesol is proud to have brought their fresh design perspective to the USA, manufacturing their product in California. TWIG is a highly configurable modular seating system which promotes social interaction and a casual lifestyle. We love this item so much it evens graces the cover of our new catalog!

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Having marketed the product since 2011, we’re really now starting to see projects come to life. Recently, there has been some confusion with TWIG, and we want to set the record straight. Tournesol continues to promote, manufacture, and sell the TWIG bench. We make TWIG from lightweight GFRC concrete in Northern California. Each bench weighs only 700lbs, contributing to a low environmental footprint, both in terms of material content and shipping.

Confused about several manufacturers offering TWIG? See more details here.

In case you missed it… March 2014 Email blast – Vol. 2 Issue 4

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It’s been a busy spring at Tournesol Siteworks, as we know it is for many of our customers, vendors and peers.  We’re all thrilled to see the activity of the market. As the weather starts to warm throughout the East Coast and Midwest, contractor’s thoughts turn to their summer schedule – and our phone starts ringing!

We’re adding inventory, scheduling additional shifts, and starting to hire – our typical spring routine. In fact, we’ve just added a new Inside Sales person, Troy Nottingham. He’s supporting our western regions, and is quickly coming up to speed. There’s a lot to learn! Make sure you say welcome if you have to chance to speak with him on the phone. 

Tournesol Hits the Indian Sub-Continent

One of our most important vendors is our Indian manufacturing partner, Jamunaplast. Since 1999, when they started molding several small plastic and rubber articles, we’ve come to rely on them to produce most of our irrigation components, many green wall and roof components , and now started casting blanks of many of our FRP fiberglass pots . They are located in a suburb just outside of Mumbai. After 15 years of making products for the U.S., they proposed that we work together to address the growing commercial landscape market in India.

 

 

 

The market for commercial landscape products in India is intriguing – still relatively small, but rapidly gaining speed. There aren’t many manufacturers that provide commercial-quality products, targeted at the more sophisticated end of the design market. While Tournesol Siteworks India will initially be selling the products that Jamunaplast manufactures for TSW-US, the intention will be to introduce products specifically targeted to the Indian design community’s requirements.

More specifically, there has been significant interest in Tournesol’s self-watering container irrigation systems . The customers in Mumbai and elsewhere appreciate the water conservation aspect of the system. We expect that product to help build a foundation for the company there, as it did for us here in the U.S. Look out for more updates in the future on our progress.

Starbucks Living Wall – Downtown Disney
This past August, the Disney Corporation announced that Starbucks would be opening a store in the  Downtown Disney District .   As this is their first location in the Disneyland Resort, the client wanted something particularly eye-catching at what is sure to be one of the busiest spots “downtown.” It’s right outside the exit of the huge World of Disney store.

Architects Orange  and  LandStudio 360  with David Ling,  conceived of a green wall that would create a visually interesting  backdrop to the outdoor seating area. We at Tournesol Siteworks were thrilled to be a player in this high profile installation as our  VGM system  was the perfect solution. David was kind enough to provide us with the amazing photo below.

 

 

In this case the stainless steel vertical hanging rails were mounted onto horizontal uni-strut framing. This framing, attached to the tube-steel substructure, allows for flexibility when aligning the hanging rail. They used our VGM3-06 wiht a 4″ soil profile, typical for warm-weather climates. The modules were shipped to the job site after 3 months of grow-in at Instant Jungle’s nursery in Santa Ana. They also pre-assemble irrigation emitters and tubing into the module, so they can quickly be attached to the main irrigation system once hung on the rails.

 

 

 

TWIG – Made in California since 2011

The TWIG bench was the first in a line of innovative products introduced by Tournesol Siteworks from the design studios of Street & Garden Furniture of Brisbane, Australia. Long a leading manufacturer down under, Tournesol is proud to have brought their fresh design perspective to the USA, manufacturing their product in California. TWIG is a highly configurable modular seating system which promotes social interaction and a casual lifestyle. We love this item so much it evens graces the cover of our new catalog!

Having marketed the product since 2011, we’re really now starting to see projects come to life. Recently, there has been some confusion with TWIG, and we want to set the record straight. Tournesol continues to promote, manufacture, and sell the TWIG bench. We make TWIG from lightweight GFRC concrete in Northern California. Each bench weighs only 700lbs, contributing to a low environmental footprint, both in terms of material content and shipping.

Confused about several manufacturers offering TWIG? See more details here.

 

 

Continued Growth with our Living Walls

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Our living green wall systems continue to grow all over the U.S., including SoCa 2014!

EPT Design  has specified 220 VGM modules to be installed June of 2014 at the Kaiser Permanente Medical Offices Antelope Valley. Thanks to  Valley Crest, which we know will do another great installation of this product and to  Instant Jungle  for growing in the plant product.  

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Antelope Valley (named for the herds of Pronghorn that were found here in the 1830’s), is the gateway to the western Mojave Desert.  The average temperature here is 61 deg, but that disguises lows down to 2 deg and highs up to 110 deg. It’s a dry heat, though, with low humidity year round. Due to the weather variance, this will be a challenging project and a testament to our 8″ deep VGM3-10 module . With the generous soil profile, root growth isn’t restricted to baffles or pockets, which will mean lower maintenance, less water usage and healthier plants.

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Azalea South Gate  is an exciting, one-of-a-kind project for the South Gate community of Los Angeles.  When completed the project will include national anchor tenants, local retail, restaurants and several living walls! Specified by Conceptual Design & Planning Company , the project is to be installed in phases in conjunction with the overall construction by  KPRS Builders. The VGM3-06 modules are being grown in (again!) at Instant Jungle  with a spectacular  plant palette chosen by the team at CDPC headed up by Jennifer Frederick. The grow-in will take 1-3 months in the modules before they are shipped individually to the job site where they will be assembled and hung.

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We are particularly proud of this installation as the 32-acre project replaces a current vacant site with a modern shopping center. The final plans include water features, an open plaza for community gatherings, wi-fi, and incorporates green initiatives and environmentally-friendly products.

A few more of our favorite things!

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The top 10 list continues…

6. Capella Project for Tropics North, Canada

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This is the coolest product that no one will ever see. Made especially for the Canadian security services, the custom planter/benches are 20′ long and shaped like a boomerang. We had to foam the planter walls so that they were durable enough to be sat on. It was one of the largest pieces that we have ever taken on – and they turned out fantastic!

7. Villa Marina, Marina del Rey, CA

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We loved being part of this shopping mall remodel. It is quite a striking green wall – a creative installation and a showcase for a broad pallet of plants.

 8. Patagonia, Santa Barbara, CA

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Our Northlakes Collection benches and picnic sets were perfect designed for Patagonia’s new employee picnic area. . Patagonia was especially enthusiastic about the Boulevard wood, our FSC-certified domestic replacement for environmentally-challenged but high-performing South American hardwoods. It was just right the fit for this environmentally and socially responsible company.

9. Lowes Hotel, Santa Monica, CA

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Celebrated as one of the highest vegetated walls in the Los Angeles area, we think this is truly a green wall showcase piece. Two types of grasses were used  – one long, and one that stands straight out to create a wave-like movement. The hotel likes it so much, they are planning on covering many of the other walls of the building with living wall.

 

10. The Whitney Museum, New York, NY

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We are honored to be part of the new Whitney Museum of American Art project in New York City. The building, seen here from the High Line (which we’re also a part of!), uses our VersiCell drainage panel under the greenroof on structure. This will also be part of next year’s top 10 because while we delivered the material in 2013, it won’t be open for a while!

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That’s it for 2013 – we’re proud of the projects we’ve participated on, and looking forward to even more excitement in 2014.  Change is in the air – and it feels like change for the better!

 

Re-Envisioned Marketplace

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The new Villa Marina Marketplace is establishing itself as the spot for dining, shopping and entertainment in Marina del Rey. The mid-century modern architecture plans called for a  distinctive building design that would set the center apart as the future of retail in the area.
MMP-New-Environment1Landscape Architects EPT Design, were asked by Callison to research living walls as a way to add some punch to the shopping center remodel (see the living wall sketched in the center of the illustration above). We worked with Scott Goodman at EPT Design to explore their options and after comparing our VGM Modular Living Wall System to other systems they recognized that the Tournesol VGM was the best fit for this project.
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The planting module attaches to stainless steel hanging rails, and once grown in it provides instant, complete coverage of the vertical surface. Using a broad pallet of plants gave the wall the splash of color that the architect was looking for. 
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The general contractor on the project, Deacon Constructioncontracted with  Tournesol partner Instant Jungle to provide a turnkey living wall. The modules were grown in at Instant Jungle’s Santa Ana location (shown above). This is definitely one of our favorite greenwall designs with our VGM system. The wall surrounds outdoor rooftop dining and overlooks Marina del Rey from atop Marina Marketplace as part of their 419,000 square foot multi-million dollar redevelopment.
Villa Marina left sideMarina Marketplace is currently Registered with U.S. Green Building Council and is pursuing LEED-CS Certification on portions of the project. 

A Historic Renovation

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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!

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Great new musical video tour of VGM Living Walls in SoCal

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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

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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!

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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!

Farewell, Flower Framers!

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Flower Framer windowboxes at Elephant & Castle restaurant
Flower Framer windowboxes at Elephant & Castle restaurant

It feels like an era is over at Tournesol Siteworks.  We signed the paperwork on a deal with Viapul Corporation of Oakwood Village, OH (near Cleveland), selling them the assets of the Flower Framer product line. We purchased the product line in 2004 from the original owner and founder. The addition of windowboxes back then helped us grow rapidly through the mid-2000’s. As we’ve grown, however, our product line has continued to evolve toward commercial landscape products, and away from residential/retail. The windowbox product just doesn’t fit well in our sales channel anymore. Continue reading Farewell, Flower Framers!