Tag Archives: container irrigation

Wilshire Planters Atop Lofts at River East

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In the July/August 2017 issue of Retrofit Magazine, Tournesol Siteworks‘ product was featured in an editorial regarding a large project in Chicago, and we were thrilled! The article written by KJ Fields, titled “Lofty Gathering Spot” (pages 72-77), pertains to Lofts at River East: a roof deck offering the apartment dwellers a restful spot for entertainment, social gatherings and relaxation.

‘Chicago is a very industrial city, so it’s helpful
to have outdoor spaces where people can
gather,’ remarks Hana Ishikawa, design principal
at Chicago’s site design group ltd., the firm
that performed The Lofts at River East’s rooftop
landscape architecture. ‘Roof decks on apartment
buildings are very popular in Chicago and
they’re becoming increasingly elaborate. This
renovation has beautiful loft units and it really
needed a nice roof deck to complement them.’

Architects from Chicago firms Fitzgerald Associates Architects and Ghafari Associates collaborated with Landscape Architect, Yuki Takeshima, with Site Design to create the 10,000 sq. ft. amenity space atop the roof deck. The building owner requested many stipulations, desiring to make the deck luxurious and inviting. The landscape architect faced many challenges designing the space. The roof top holds a varying range of grade changes due to the building’s main duct-work and air-handling units being on the roof. The environment had to span over the mechanical and electrical units. Site used the levels to their advantage by creating outdoor “rooms” using landscape and plants for division so the separations did not feel forced.

Wilshire planters at Lofts at River East, Photo by Scott Shigley

In one of these “rooms,” site specified our Wilshire Collection planters  with matching container irrigation.  From Glenview, IL, Intrinsic Landscaping Inc. installed the planters, manufactured from FRP Fiberglass material in our smooth T-0 texture (shown in the image above). They chose MMP Aluminum for the planters’ color; the MMP color mimics the look of our more expensive metal-infused pots, yet the MMP painted colors won’t change over time, unlike the real metals. This continuous color provides predictability for commercial applications.

The Lofts at River East is fabulous and enjoyed by tenants, their friends and families. One last quote from the article  states,

Although the generous views to the
water and Chicago skyline are expansive,
the designers kept the scale human with
the outdoor rooms, diverse-sized furniture
groupings and plant selections.

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.

Urban on Oak in Walnut?

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Small or large businesses can always use an update to their landscape design. Just 16 miles east of Oakland, CA, lies a cool town named Walnut Creek in the East Bay of the San Francisco Bay Area. It has a quaint feeling yet is a modern city with lots of shopping, fine restaurants and family-oriented neighborhoods.

NORCAL

At 2999 Oak Road, near the Contra Costa Transit Center in Walnut Creek, a new look has emerged. Cleary Brothers Landscape Company, Inc. contacted our partner distributors Imperial Sprinkler Supply, out of Livermore, CA.  Cleary installed Tournesol Siteworks’ Fiberglass FRP Urban Collection planters in the front plaza of the main entrance to the building.

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The sleek, modern and elegantly proportioned lightweight FRP Urban Collection pots and planters add a touch of style to this large plaza. Cleary requested our Urban Collection in square (48″Sq x 42″H), tall (24″Sq x 48″H) and rectangular (48″L x 24″W x 24″H) shapes. Inside the planters, they also installed our CWM Modular Container Irrigation Systems to fit the shape and size of each planter. The CWM system gives the ability to store incredible amounts of water and reduce maintenance.

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For the texture, they chose the smooth, conventional finish of  T-0 with a Metal Matched Paint (MMP) Iron color. Tournesol’s MMP Iron color mimics the look of the more expensive metal-infused iron finish and, unlike the real metals, won’t change over time – it will continue to provide predictability and stability.

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Under each Urban Collection planter, they placed our matching (depending on the size of the base ) Fiberglass Skirted Saucers in the MMP Iron color and smooth T-0 texture. We are happy this project requested our products and hope the public as well as the building occupants continue to enjoy the new planters.

 

 

A lightning-fast upgrade: First Street, Downtown Phoenix

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The City of Phoenix recently spent over a half-million dollars on street improvements, decorative sidewalks, new trees and pedestrian-friendly upgrades along First Street in downtown. The goal was to make the area more pedestrian friendly and inviting to convention attendees and tourists.firststreet3*304

The First Street road and sidewalk improvements run from Washington to Moreland Street and include 86 of our SeaCrest Series planters with built-in container irrigation. A similar quantity of pots was required for a different streetscape area as well. The SeaCrest Series is made differently than most other collections we feature here – they are rotationally molded of linear low-density polyethylene plastic (instead of FRP fiberglass or GFRC concrete). This allows us to make the SeaCrest as a double-wall unit, and integrate the self-watering system.

IMG_2674The city contractor who contacted us wasn’t specifically looking for the SeaCrest Series pots.  Instead, they approached us with a very tight deadline to get pots into place. Because a project of this size is made to order, and the FRP and GFRC process is relatively slow (one pot per mold per day), we needed a solution that could be turned around faster. When rotationally molding, we can make up to 5-6 pieces per day. The throughput of the process allowed us to get the project done on time.

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We also had to custom blend the material to match our painted apple color. There are two different ways to match colors in plastic – use an integrally colored base material, or “dry blend” pigment in with naturally translucent base material. The nature of the exposure, abuse, longevity and color consistency demanded we use the more time- and cost-intensive integrally colored material. We received the order on the 10th of the September, and were able to ship the entire project within 30 days – thanks to our hardworking manufacturing team.

The transformation must have helped – First Street has been transformed  into a pedestrian promenade that celebrates food and art in the desert during their Feast on the Street.

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The day that we were taking the pictures happened to coincide with watering day. Given that the city had paid for the benefit of our unparalled container irrigation system, we were curious to see if they were using it. Answer: No.  The young man (below) uses the browse head to water the plants, ignoring the tamper resistant stopper and the reservoir. It is one of the more frustrating parts of our business – you can lead a horse to water, but you just can’t make them drink.  This probably could be laid at our door – maybe we didn’t do enough to train them on the use of the system. Nevertheless, the watering system is tailor-made for a place like Phoenix, and it seems a waste that it isn’t being used.

At least the product design delivers value. The double-wall provides insulation for the plants from the hot desert air, and the durable plastic will hold up to anything that the street throws at it. We were glad to help the city when they needed the material, and pleased it looks so good!

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LPA Inc. opens a new office in San Jose (with Tournesol pots!)

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Sustainable design architecture firm LPA Inc. just opened an office in downtown San Jose, CA.  It joins their main office in Irvine, and offices in Roseville (CA) and San Diego. They brought a pretty creative approach to converting a downtown retail space to their new offices.

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They didn’t bother to build up an entire conference room in the space – instead, they segregated the area (off to the right in the image above) with two Wilshire Rectangles (WR-721824 in white FRP). The pots appear in nearly all the images that they take of the public space – they make a great backdrop! Each pot contains three CWI-1650 self-watering container irrigation inserts to make taking care of the plants easy. How do you know what the best self-watering system is out here? Ask the designers what they use themselves!

They sent through a link to this video – just watch for the two white FRP pots in the background…

We received the following note from the associate who coordinated the build-out (from the Irvine HQ):

You have all been instrumental to the success of the project and I could not have picked a better team to produce this high quality of work. Thanks again for all your dedication and bending over backwards when the moment called for your best work.

We were glad to be a part of it. We’re already in working with the designers on new projects already!

Gables Uptown Trail, Dallas, TX

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Downtown Collection Planters at the Gables Uptown Trail complex, Dallas - photos courtesy of Ewing Irrigation
Downtown Collection Planters at the Gables Uptown Trail apartment complex, Dallas – photos courtesy of Ewing Irrigation

The Downtown Collection is officially the hottest shape of the season. Just based upon  recent installations (the Westport Plaza in St. Louis) and one soon to come (the City of Norwalk, CT), we’re having trouble keeping them in stock!!

Continue reading Gables Uptown Trail, Dallas, TX

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

IMT Sherman Village Apartments, Valley Village, CA

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Urban squares, UR-3600 in the Chapparal color,  T-0 texture
Urban Collection planters at the IMT Sherman Village Apartments

IMT Residential is a leading nationwide apartment operator with a portfolio that extends throughout California, Arizona, Texas, and Florida. Their most recent project is located at 12729 Riverside Dr. in Valley Village, CA, well located between Studio City, Toluca Lake and Sherman Oaks. We were pleased to provide the containers and irrigation for the job.

Continue reading IMT Sherman Village Apartments, Valley Village, CA

City College of San Francisco – Chinatown/North Beach Campus

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The new Chinatown/North Beach campus building of the City College of San Francisco

In the middle of 2009, we were approached by EHDD Architecture of San Francisco, who were in the process of designing the new Chinatown/North Beach campus of the City College of San Francisco.  They asked if we would be interested in fabricating custom Wilshire Collection rectangles with integrated bench seating for the terrace of the new building. It was the first time that we’d been approached to do this, so we knew it would be a challenge for us. But, it was a major new construction project, in a time when there weren’t many around – of course we’d be interested! Continue reading City College of San Francisco – Chinatown/North Beach Campus

Travois Holdings, Kansas City, MO

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The new landscaping at Travois Holding, Kansas City, MO.Images courtesy of Farthingale Ornamental, Kansas City

Don Hellstern at Farthingale Ornamental Stone was kind enough to send through images from another project that they just worked on in Kansas City, MO. Travois Holdings is the leading housing and economic development financing firm in Indian Country. They have provided over $400M in private equity financing through Low Income Housing Tax Credits, which have helped their tribal clients build or renovate over 4,000 houses. They just completed landscaping the front of their office, and made extensive use of Tournesol Siteworks irrigation throughout.

Continue reading Travois Holdings, Kansas City, MO