Tournesol Siteworks

Starbucks’ Greenwall, Disney and Us!

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A few years ago, Tournesol Siteworks had the opportunity to work on a unique, one-of-a-kind project in the land “where dreams come true” – Disneyland! We recently revisited the living wall installation at the Starbucks location in the Downtown Disney District at  Disneyland Resort. After two years, with loving care and maintenance, the green wall has fully grown in and continues to look amazing.
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Architects Orange and LandStudio 360 with David Ling, designer, brought unique elements to this specific Starbucks store. Greg Wallace, the grower from Instant Jungle, initially installed and has now maintained the greenwall over the last two years.  We spoke with Greg this week regarding the maintenance. He shared a few of his challenges with this project.

The wall is north facing, so there is some morning sunlight and the temperature gets really hot in this location, despite what they expected. Greg’s initial plant choice was Mondo grass, a small grass that is a drought resistant plant, yet didn’t grow to fill the module well. Mondo grass prefers mostly shady conditions, and the heat caused the grass to brown out. He needs to use drought resistant plants that like the heat, some sun, and shade, and is challenged to find greenery that can coexist in the living wall. Greg replaced the grass with Cenecio, which is more of a succulent with a slightly blue color, under Spider plants.

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Another challenge is the location of the wall, as the public can touch the greenwall since it is close to the entrance of the Starbucks with seating in proximity. Being in Downtown Disney children are everywhere and tend to pull at the plants and have actually pulled the modules from their placement in the VGM System. Instant Jungle maintains the wall by replacing the plants that are broken or damaged by the public, and adjusts the modules back into place where they belong.

Greg says that continued maintenance of a greenwall involves being aware of heat issues, having to exchange bottom plants periodically and to vary the wall with plants that can adjust to the weather. Both Disney and Starbucks are adamant about displaying the design so, in turn, Greg works hard to make sure the plants are happy.

“The key to a long-term, flourishing greenwall is the investment in care and maintenance. Treat the greenwall as a living wall, an actually ‘living’ project, needing routine checking on, caring for, and feeding of the plants over time,” shared Greg. “It’s important that whoever is in charge of the plants after any installation, understands the choices and varieties of greenery; the plants need to coexist. Tournesol Siteworks’ VGM Modular Living Wall system is the best solution I could have used on this particular application, and I’ve looked at many other systems for my living wall projects. This was the right product, at the right time, for the right place.”

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With the VGM System, root growth isn’t limited by restricting cells or baffles, thus plants grow healthier and stronger. Without maintenance from a grower, the overall health and beauty of the living wall is not sustainable and the greenwall will more than likely wither and die.

Due to a great partnership with Tournesol Siteworks, Greg has had many other client referrals and requests for project in southern California locations, and is currently working on four other living wall installations.

For more information on the initial installation, read here. We are happy to be part of the “magical” atmosphere in the Downtown Disney District with Starbucks and Disney- two companies known for providing their guests with an excellent experience.

Yes, Yesler Terrace, on Your Way

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Seattle is an amazing city!  One part of Seattle’s downtown community is Yesler Terrace, originally built in 1941 as the city’s first subsidized housing area. It is centrally located close to jobs and transit options, and holds beautiful views of Mt. Rainier and downtown. Originally built as a low-income area, it’s newly being redeveloped into a mixed-income neighborhood.

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Raven Terrace is an 83 unit multi-family residential community designed by Weber Thompson, Architecture and Landscape Architecture firm, and built by Walsh Construction Company. It was completed in Dec. ’15 and unveiled this month (Feb. ’16). Weber Thompson specified four of Tournesol Siteworks’ highly-configurable TWIG benches and a slew of our Wilshire Collection rectangular and squares planters.

The installation our Tournesol’s material was handled by Cerna Landscape Inc., landscape contractors out of Renton, WA. Eight of our rectangular Wilshire lightweight concrete pots were custom ordered in sizes to fit exactly where desired, in the Sandblast texture and Shadow color. A few more of the square Wilshire planters were specified in the custom color “Amber Wave,” (the lighter tan color shown below), and were manufactured in FRP fiberglass with a smooth T-0 texture. The last few pots were FRP with T-0  in the color Puddle, including the 60″ round planter holding a tree within a larger planter area.

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Four of our GFRC concrete TWIG benches were installed as a focal point in the center area. The TWIG benches are a modular seating system, with each bench holding up to five people. The inclusion of our TWIG benches allows the neighbors the opportunity to stop and chat.

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The Yesler Terrace is an exciting, on-going project for Seattle (and especially for us) which may take quite a few years to complete, but it’s well on its way!

A 1-acre Public Park, 11 Stories Up!

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Philadelphia, PA, recently welcomed its first elevated public park, Cira Green. This project was recently featured on Greenroof.com as their “Project of the Week” post. Cira Green, a 1.25 acre urban park, is located 11 stories above street level and is part of a larger mixed-use development project in the Cira Centre South neighborhood in the University City District.

Photo Courtesy of Roofmeadow

The park offers much needed open public green space with amazing views of the Philadelphia skyline and the Schuylkill Riverfront. Cira Green is also Philadelphia’s first blue-green roof, which can route storm water to the green roof areas.

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Photo Courtesy of Roofmeadow

Designed by Roofmeadow, a national designer of high-profile greenroof projects, Cira Green has a unique water storage system underneath its sloping lawn, swaying meadows and the pavers on the roof. That’s where Tournesol Siteworks comes in!

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At the beginning of the project, Roofmeadow specified 33,800 square feet of our VersiCell Drainage Panels to be placed underneath the greenroof. Sean’s Landscaping, Inc., the landscape contractor. installed the roof, stacked 30mm VersiCell two layers high at 16,900 sq. ft. per layer to create a 2-1/4” deep reservoir below the greenroof.

Photo Courtesy of Roofmeadow

The rigid VersiCell panels provide the ultimate combination of strength and high volume water flow capacity, especially when fast water-flowing is critical. Made of 100% recycled polypropylene, VersiCell rigid panels are highly inert, and won’t break down or crush over the life of a project. This is the same product recently used on the Whitney Museum terraces in NYC.

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Photo Courtesy of Roofmeadow

We love it when our product is the foundation of an amazing urban public space that will be enjoyed by the community for years to come!

 

 

 

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.

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©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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

 

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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.

 

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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!

 

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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.

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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!

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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!

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.


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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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