Tag Archives: fiberglass (FRP)

Taking care of (someone else’s) business…

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One of the most important things that Tournesol Siteworks offers is the promise to make sure that things are correct. Recently a project came to our attention that demonstrated that commitment.

The project in question was a mixed-use development in Oakland, completed in the Summer of 2016. Our Wilshire Collection planters had been specified both on a second-floor terrace area as well as along the corners of the main structure.

Wilshire Collection Square and Rectangular Planters

Northern California has had quite a rainy season so far. Shortly after it started, our regional sales manager Troy Nottingham received a call from the landscape contractor on the project, complaining about leaking and deforming pots. We quickly contacted our local distributor to figure out exactly what we sold on the project.

Before we got the information from the distributor, the general contractor escalated the issue by emailing us, the specifying landscape architect, owner, and everyone else. Troy adjusted his schedule and visited the project the next day to assess the situation.

Wilshire Collection Rectangular and Square Planters

It was a fairly simple answer – there were 60″L x 18″W x 36″H planters at the corners of the project, and the ones facing west had nothing to block the rain. The pots were plumbed for irrigation, but not drainage, and were filling up with water. As they filled, the walls flexed out significantly, something that won’t typically happen with our containers. In addition, the caulk seal around the irrigation penetration wasn’t holding, and water was leaking out.

Troy followed up the site visit with a full report to the landscape architect, general contractor, and landscape contractor. He gave an analysis of the problem, and provided several suggestions to relieve the stress on the containers and solve the problem.

The next week he called the project manager for the landscape contractor, and asked about the next steps. Sheepishly, the contractor admitted that Tournesol had provided the pots for the second-floor terrace (which were doing just fine), but that they had gone to another manufacturer for the ones on the ground floor(!). He hadn’t realized it initially when calling us, only finding out after speaking with their purchaser.

We were of course relieved to know that it wasn’t our product that was the issue. It’s also good to know that when contractors feel that something is wrong, they can count on us to make it right. However, we’d prefer not to have to troubleshoot someone else’s problem!

 

San Francisco Shipyard Coming to Life

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The Hunters Point Naval Shipyard area in San Francisco, CA, is being transformed and will eventually be a residential extension of the Bayview neighborhood. This part of the city is up and coming, and is part of the city that outsiders see most rarely. The first phase of construction began in 2014, and first completed was a beautiful park for the community to enjoy. There will be residential housing that encompasses 800 units, and 20 acres of parks. Five residential units have been completed so far in this construction zone, and three more are underway, designed by four different architectural firms.

Block 51, Wilshire BOx Hanging Planters

One of the firms, Ian Birchall and Associates, specified Tournesol Siteworks products for the four-story condo building they designed. We referred to the project as Block 51 which has a large courtyard, accessible from the street. Inside the courtyard, IBA designed a modern wall of green vegetation beginning with our Wilshire Box Hanging Planters. Landscape contractors Shooter & Butts, Inc. installed the hanging planters on a metal wall with metal trellises where vines grow/climb up the wall.

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Courtyard of Block 51, Wilshire Box Hanging Planters

We design the hanging planters so that the product doesn’t take center stage – we prefer the plants steal the show. The hanging brackets are powder coated with stainless mounting studs. The brackets tuck into the back of the box, so the planter can snug up next to the wall.

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The plants quickly grow and expand onto the trellis screens. Using our WB-1218 (12″W x 18″H in, 72″L and 96″L) boxes maximizes the room the plants can grow. Typically, the more soil there is in a pot, the bigger the plant will get (the roots expand as much as the upper part of the plant will). IBA also chose various sizes of our lightweight FRP Fiberglass planters from our Wilshire Collection now located around the perimeter of the building.

The installation looks amazing and we’re sure the tenants will enjoy their surroundings full of warmth and color.

 

 

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.

 

 

Cambridge’s Custom Benches & Planters

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In the heart of Cambridge, MA (formerly Newtowne from 1630-1703), is Kendall Square – an exciting place for the expanding Technology/Biotechnology market. The neighborhood is full of shops, restaurants, and movie theaters rubbing elbows with institutions and corporations including MIT, Google, Amazon, and Twitter, among others. In the heart of Kendall Square is 50 Hampshire Street, holding the largest block of adjacent space in the square. Recently, 50 Hampshire Street underwent a fabulous lobby renovation and new exterior landscape design.

Photo Courtesy of Copley Wolff Design Group

Local firm CBT Architects collaborated with Boston landscape architect Copley Wolff Design Group to create an extraordinary design which included custom made wooden benches and planters. Copley Wolff specified Tournesol Siteworks for the construction of the planters and 20 custom Boulevard thermally-modified wood benches. The benches were fabricated in Tournesol Siteworks‘ Northern California facility and locally installed by landscape contractors  Brightview (formerly Valleycrest) of Boston.

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The custom dimensions of the Boulevard wood are 72″L x 24″W x 18″H with the wood running the length of both bench sides and tops. Our Boulevard Wood 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 (which is great for Cambridge’s varying weather) and makes Boulevard wood resistant to warp, twist and other movement.

Photo Courtesy of Copley Wolff Design Group

Along with the custom benches, we created 11 custom FRP Fiberglass Wilshire Collection planters in rectangular dimensions of 72″L x 24″W x 36″H, and 2 tall square Wilshire collection planters sized 24″Sq. x 48″H. Copley Wolff required that the planters be anchored to the ground, so they specified the reinforced bottom option and pre-drilled drain holes. A planter with a reinforced bottom contains a strong piece of plywood between layers of the fiberglass on the base, which provides a solid panel to anchor to the ground and spreads the load should the planter move.

All of the planters are outfitted with our CWM Modular Container Irrigation to fit the shape and size of each planter. The CWM system gives the ability to store incredible amounts of water and reduce maintenance.

Photo Courtesy of Copley Wolff Design Group

We’re thrilled to take part in this project, just down the street from the 200 Sidney project. The Boulevard wood is coming to Boston!

 

 

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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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.

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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.

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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.

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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!

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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.

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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.

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Burbank Towers

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The Burbank Tower, located at 3900 West Alameda in Burbank, CA , rises over the busy entertainment hub along the Ventura Freeway with hundreds of media firms surrounded by Universal, Warner Bros. and Disney studios. Recently purchased by the Worthe Real Estate Group, the Tower has undergone a renovation “to appeal to people in the entertainment industry.”

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During the renovation process, Tourensol Siteworks was called in by OJB The Office of James Burnett to find out if our hanging Wilshire Box planters could be modified for their specific application. As seen above, we fabricated 5 different lengths of our 18″W x 24″H boxes (96″, 93″, 75″, 72″ and 60″), and painted them a custom color to match the building.  Each set of boxes (and there are typically 3 per set) were designed with  plumbed irrigation and drainage lines

The project was purchased and installed by Krismar Construction in March, and the photographs were just taken this month.

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The lightweight fiberglass box, pre-engineered brackets, and the easy-to-use mounting template have been designed for fast, simple installation by the contractor. Wilshire Boxes are used to contain plants on green facade projects, parking structures, and spandrel and parapet walls.

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Wilshire FRP fiberglass Boxes are available in 3 different size ranges, (10″W x 12″H, 12″W x 18″H, 18″W x 24″H). The simple styling works with most building types, and highlights the plants rather than the planter. The hanging brackets are powder coated with stainless mounting studs. The brackets tuck into the back of the box, so the planter can snug up next to the wall. It’s a system used in hundreds of installations nationwide, and one of the most commonly found systems on parking structures today.

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Checking in on the Miracle Mile

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In 2010, we gave you a first-look at 5550 Wilshire Blvd., in the heart of Los Angeles’ Miracle Mile. With over 180 pots, in both GFRC and FRP fiberglass, as well as container irrigation it was one of our largest projects at that time.

100_0602It is a mixed use project, with retail on the bottom floor and condominiums above. The designer had originally called for our FRP fiberglass pots throughout the entire job; however, since we could offer the same container with the same finish in multiple materials, it was decided that the pots on the streetscape would be the more durable lightweight concrete, and the interior and on-structure pots would remain fiberglass. Our regional salesperson Jon Willingham visited the project recently and took a few photos. Four years later, both types of pots are still looking great!

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Many of the spectacular tree plantings in the photos used palms in 48″ squares, as shown below. The finishes in both FRP and GFRC were painted, so they would be easy to touch up and repair as necessary. So far additional maintenance as been kept to a minimum, and the planters have stood up well to the high-traffic street side abuse!

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Additionally, each of the pots was outfitted with a CWM Modular container irrigation reservoir for minimal maintenance – the plants are thriving!

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We love to be able to revisit projects like this, and find out that our product is still looking great. We strive for a superior results for our customers – that’s what keeps them coming back to us. Thanks to ParkWest Landscape who installed the project, designed by Valleycrest Design Group of Orange County for Legacy Partners. It is tribute to all involved that this projects continues to shine in L.A.

 

A New Collaboration

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In collaboration with Surya Graf, designer at Street and Garden Furniture, of Queensland, Australia we are thrilled to be introducing our new design – the Zest Planter.

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The Zest design was inspired by the classic forms of the traditional terracotta pots. According to Graf, “the idea was to play on the familiarity of these shapes, while treating it as a more sculptural element.” We think the result is an organic form with a nod to the past and a contemporary flair.

The planters are available in FRP fiberglass and lightweight GFRC concrete, in all our traditional finishes as well as our new brilliant colorway. The pots are available in sizes from 18″ up to 42″dia., and coordinate with Tournesol’s industry leading self-watering container irrigation products.

In “sneak peeks” of the planter, most recently at Plantscape Industry Expo in Las Vegas, the design has garnered great reviews, and we’re looking forward to some exciting installations.