Tournesol Siteworks

Slabtown Comes Alive in Portland

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Slabtown Marketplace in Northwest Portland, Oregon, is part of a larger adaptive reuse project proposed by GBD Architects and Holst Architecture, both of Portland, and adopted by the city in 2012. The Master Plan for the area will include mixed-use development with current office and warehouse buildings, and hopes to be the hub for Portland’s newest neighborhood, the Conway District.

Slabtown Marketplace, Portland, OR, VGM

©2016 David Papazian: David Papazian Photography

Slabtown Marketplace was originally built in 1952 as a 36,000 sq. ft. concrete shipping warehouse that has now been converted into three separate retail spaces.


GBD and Holst collaborated with Lango Hansen Landscape Architects to create a pedestrian walkway, as well as a beautiful gathering space and focal point to inspire community interaction. On the side of the wall facing the walkway, Lango Hansen utilized Tournesol SiteworksVGM Living Wall System and a series of Cor-Ten steel panels for visual interest.


Teufel Landscape, out of Hillsboro, Oregon, was responsible for pre-growing the plants and installing the living wall modules. The VGM3 system consists of 100% recycled plastic planting modules attached to stainless steel hanging rails. 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.


Modules were shipped broken down to the jobsite, where they were assembled, filled with  VGM media block, and planted by Teufel Landscape. Grow-in was greatly accelerated using the specially engineered media block. The stainless steel rails require minimal penetrations and mount to the structurally sound wall. The installation was a success – and we love it when the designers each use the image on their own webpage!




Greenwall Climbing the Tower

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The L’auberge Casino Resort, built in 2012, is an expansive southern Louisiana retreat designed to capture the rich culture of Baton Rouge. The project was designed by Marnell Companies, with landscape architectural support by Lifescapes International.

Lauberge casino

Recently our partners at Ewing Irrigation had the opportunity to visit the resort, and captured photos of a fully grown living wall that was installed on the project by contractor Rotolo Consultants  from Slidell, LA.

Sidewall 2

This wall utilizes a hybrid of our Tournesol VGM3 living wall modules together with our VertiGreen 3D trellis product. In the project drawing below, you can see the individual VGM3 modules (shaded in green), which were mounted on stainless steel rails behind. The VertiGreen 3D trellis panels were custom cut widths that would complete the wall section.


Lauberge drawing


When planted together like this, the vines located in the VGM3 modules quickly expand onto the VertiGreen 3D trellis (the concept behind our VertiGreen Hybrid product) and make for a thick, low maintenance living wall system. This one has been installed for a little more than three years, and looks as beautiful and dense as the day it went in! We couldn’t even tell what type of product it was when the images arrived.




Mounting the trellis next to the VGM3 modules was done with fixed-distance wall mount brackets (which held the back of the 3D trellis 6″ from the wall), keeping the front flush with the living wall modules. Because of the integration of the less expensive VertiGreen 3D Trellis product with the VGM Modular System, the  overall cost of this living wall was reduced by half!




TWIG comes to Redwood City

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There is nothing quite as gratifying as doing work that goes into your own hometown. I live in Redwood City, CA, a smallish town in the middle of the San Francisco peninsula. Just recently a large new office building opened downtown. Box (the cloud storage company) is the major tenant.  I took these photos last weekend when walking downtown to see a movie. This plaza is just down the street from the theater.


On the plaza in front of Box, several of our TWIG benches have been installed by Shooter and Butts landscape contractors . The project was designed by Korth Sunseri Hagey architects, and our friends at the Guzzardo Partnership (landscape architects). In addition to these three benches on grade, there are 10 more on the upper podium level, as well as 8 of our 60″ diameter Downtown Collection lightweight concrete pots. For the on-grade TWIG benches, Guzzardo specified our specially-made stainless steel skate stops. Our partners at Street & Garden Furniture in Australia would be pleased to see the complete installation!


Redwood City is a rapidly redeveloping part of the peninsula – in addition to Crossing 900, there are many apartments and condominium complexes being built. We’ve had products specified in many of them. Downtown Redwood City is right on the train line into San Francisco and, up to this point most, development has been going south towards Palo Alto and Silicon Valley. We’re finally catching up – with a vengeance. I’m proud of the work we do, and it’s fun to be able to point out projects we work on to friends, especially when you can see the results. They’re always surprised with what I do for a living!






New Year, Positive Positioning

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Happy New Year! Tournesol Siteworks is kicking off the new year with our feet running. Our new catalog is now on our website homepage, which you can view and download.  We are thrilled it is complete and hope you will enjoy the new “lookbook.”

Also, we’d like to let you know of a few changes in our sales personnel that will make a large impact. First, we welcome our new employee, Phil Sheldon, as the Outside Sales Representative for the Northeastern and Mid-Atlantic states. Previously, Phil managed the Northeast region for Ennis-Flint, offering a range of decorative paving solutions for streetscapes, crosswalks, and traffic calming projects.


Phil Sheldon

He helped landscape architects, engineers, and developers identify and specify project solutions, and managed a network of certified contractors for installation. Prior to that Phil practiced as a registered Landscape Architect, including 10 years at Sasaki Associates in the Boston area. When not working, Phil enjoys spending time with his family, listening to music, and traveling.

Next, we announce Troy Nottingham’s  promotion to Outside Sales Representative for the Northwestern region. Troy joined Tournesol Siteworks in February 2014, and has served as an Inside Salesperson supporting our Southwestern territory.


Troy Nottingham

With this promotion, Troy will focus on meeting with our customers face to face while working on various current and future projects. The majority of his time will be spent out in the field. Troy enjoys traveling with his wife, trying new foods and embracing his love of craft beer.

We also welcome Andy Vratny to Tournesol Siteworks as our new Inside Sales Representative.  Andy comes to us from Proteus Industries  where he served in a Inside Sales and Technical support position. Andy will be taking on  the responsibilities Troy had in the Southwest, and has alrady made an impact to the sales team.


Andy Vratny

Andy enjoys speding time with his wife and taking their dogs on hikes, walks and recreational activities. He also enjoys traveling, reading, learning and opening his mind to new adventures.

Welcome and congratulations Phil, Troy and Andy!

“Urban” Glows in Southern California

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Tournesol Siteworks had the pleasure of collaborating on a project for Southern California Edison (SCE), one of America’s largest electric utility companies that has been providing power for over 125 years. Their corporate headquarters is located in Rosemead, California, and the project focused on updating the courtyard plaza landscape to a modern environment.


Landscape Architects RPALA Group created a beautiful, elegant and appealing design for all to enjoy. RPALA Group collaborated with SCE for their desired landscape designs and preferences. SCE contacted Tournesol Siteworks directly and chose square and rectangular planters from our lightweight FRP Fiberglass Urban Collection. Mariposa Landscapes, out of Irwindale, CA, installed the planters and filled the pots with lush greenery. DSC_0708

Sleek, simple and elegantly proportioned, the Urban Collection planters add a decorative style and urban feel to the application in the courtyard plaza. Since the planters were placed in a high traffic area, we recommended the T-2 texture because of its durability. The texture is applied to the FRP Fiberglass prior to painting, to enhance the endurance of the finish and to prevent scratching and abrasions.


They chose the MMP Aluminum color, which mimics the look of the more expensive metal-infused Aluminum finish. The MMP Aluminum paint, unlike the real metal, won’t rust over time! SCE’s employees and clients enjoy the Urban Collection planters as they provide predictability and elegance to their headquarters in Rosemead.


Holiday Color at One Museum Park

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One Museum Park soars 720 feet above Chicago overlooking Lake Michigan and is a stunning piece of the world famous skyline. The building is located on Lake Shore Drive opposite the Field Museum of Natural History and Soldier Field. This summer, Tournesol Siteworks had the opportunity to participate in a project for beautifying the East Pool Deck and entrance to the building.IMG_8395

We were contacted by Woodlawns Landscape Company who chose various square, round and rectangular planters from our FRP Fiberglass Urban Collection. The sleek, modern and elegantly proportioned lightweight Urban Collection pots and planters add a touch of style to the Pool Deck.


For the texture, they chose the smooth, conventional finish of T-0 with an MMP Aluminum paint color. The Metal Matched Paint, unlike the real metals, won’t change over time and will continue to provide predictability and stability.


They placed our matching Fiberglass Skirted Saucers under each Urban Collection planter, depending on the size of the base. For a beautiful winter display, Woodlawns Landscape Company recently replaced the greenery and replanted holiday arrangements to accentuate the entrance to the building and our elegant planters.


Planters’ Prominent Placement at Lakeview

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We’re revisiting a previous installation in Irvine, California and taking a fresh, current look. On the grounds of the Lakeview Business Center, the planter installation still looks great after two years. Lakeview is an office property of the Irvine Company -a large, privately held real-estate investment company with operations primarily in coastal California.


Lakeview Business Center wanted to create an outdoor space where employees would be able to gather, have lunch and relax for breaks. Burton Landscape Architecture Studio from Solana Beach, CA, designed a pleasing outdoor setting while collaborating with Cuesta Construction from Costa Mesa, CA. Cuesta contacted Tournesol Siteworks requesting our Urban Collection planters.


The sleek, simple and elegantly proportioned lightweight FRP Fiberglass Urban Collection planters add a modern touch to the landscape of the project. For the texture, they chose the smooth, conventional finish of T-0  to enhance the attractive style of the Urban Collection planters.


They chose the MMP Iron color, which mimics the look of the more expensive metal-infused Iron finish. The MMP Iron paint, unlike the real metal, won’t rust over time! Lakeview Business Center and its employees continue to enjoy the Urban Collection planters and, as you can see from the images, they continue to provide predictability and elegance to the Irvine location.




Aquarian Collection Dressing up the Riviera

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Tournesol Siteworks was contacted by landscape design firm Kathleen Essick & Associates, located in the San Francisco Bay Area. The firm was selected to dress up the Riviera Plaza, 1600 Riviera Avenue in Walnut Creek, California. Choosing from our various collections of pots and planters, the decision was made that the Aquarian Collection added a modern feel to a somewhat dated entrance. and was ordered from Tournesol Siteworks’ distribution partner Sunborne Nursery in San Francisco.


The water-jar shape of our Aquarian Collection FRP Fiberglass planters lended an appealing, unadorned elegance to the entrance of the building. From a variety of colors, they chose MMP Bronze which mimics the look of more expensive metal-infused finishes. The MMP Bronze paint, unlike the real metals, won’t change over time and will continue to provide predictability and stability.

IMG_7932 copy

Since the planters were placed in a high traffic area, we recommended the T-1 texture because of its durability. The texture is applied to the FRP Fiberglass prior to painting, to enhance the endurance of the finish and to prevent scratching and abrasions.


Along with the planters, they placed a color-matched Downtown Collection FRP Fiberglass receptacle with FRP receptacle lid. The receptacle is fitted with a removable polyethylene liner. After all, the trash has to go somewhere!





Iconic 101 California St. in the City By the Bay

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101 California Street in San Francisco is an iconic, 48-story building in the heart of the Financial District. The interior lobby is a thing of beauty in itself, an atrium with the first seven stories enclosed in glass. Tournesol Siteworks was fortunate to be contacted by Gensler, San Francisco, when they were recently  working on the lobby renovation.

Gensler received an internal referral recommending us for the project after we worked with them on the rooftop of the Dolby headquarters building, also in San Francisco. On the Dolby project, Tournesol Siteworks worked from the architect’s initial concepts to create products that could be manufactured off common tooling wherever possible.IMG_7940

For 101 California Street’s lobby redesign, Gensler had a very specific concept for the lobby planters. They wanted metal planters with stone on the front face. The design was rather complex, and involved a FRP liner as well as an internal metal structure. We were able to simplify the design with a Wilshire Square FRP pot, which eliminated the need for the internal frame. We collaborated with Design Workshops in Oakland, who created the decorative outer element as designed.


Design Workshops clad the outside of the pot directly. Our Wilshire square planters are made to withstand the pressures of the soil, water and interior preparation for what the designer wanted to display, and for the lobby to be protected from the elements. The collaboration brought the overall cost of the project down – a win-win for all involved.



Hey, Kool-Aid!! TWIG finds its way to Nebraska

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Tournesol Siteworks recently had the opportunity to collaborate with Brian Pecka, landscape architect with Big Muddy Workshop, in their design for the town of Hastings, Nebraska. Hastings is known as the place where Kool-Aid was invented in 1927 and still celebrates that event with an annual festival in August. The festival takes place on the Hastings Campus of Central Community College.

CCC Nebraska

Recently, a new seating plaza was unveiled outside the CCC’s Student Union Hall. Big Muddy Workshop used five of our TWIG Benches – they were looking for an organic shape and feel to break up the harsh lines of the plaza’s concrete surface. They worked on the project with Wilkins Architecture Design & Planning (WAEP), an architectural firm out of Kearney, Nebraska. General Contractor for the installation was Lacy Construction Company, from Grand Island.


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. The benches are made from lightweight GFRC concrete.

Anna Head Housing TWIG 2

A concealed mount bracket keeps the bench in place with epoxy anchors. The TWIG Benches create a more dynamic space by breaking up the straight horizontal and vertical lines of other features in the plaza. At night, the seating plaza is lit up by the steel light posts creating a warm, lit effect across the space.

Hastings 1

The students actively use the seating area as a place to get outside and rest between classes, especially during nice weather. It is accessible in the front of the campus and the open shape of the TWIG creates a feeling of community.