Pinkberry, clad in green!

We recently became involved with the Avalon development in Alpharetta, GA, providing them with our VGP living wall system. From the Avalon website:  “It’s located in the heart of Alpharetta.  It is a sustainably designed, 86-acre development with more than 500,000 square feet of retail, a 12-screen all premium theater, a full-service hotel (coming in Phase II), Class A office, single-family residences and luxury rental homes. It infuses resort-level hospitality throughout a walkable, seamlessly connected community of shopping, dining, entertainment, living and working. It’s more than just another place to go, it’s a place to be—a hub of local art and activity that delivers the luxury of the modern South.”

All photos are courtesy of our friends at Greenroofs.com, based in Alpharetta. Join them at the Greenroofs & Walls of the World™ Virtual Summit 2015: Connecting the Planet + Living Architecture on April 6-12.

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Our regional sales representative in the area, Brian Mitalo, recently had the opportunity to discuss the project with the landscape architect, David Floyd of Site Solutions LLC in Atlanta.  He described Avalon as a new type of mixed-use property called an “experiential center”.  It’s the customer experience that creates the desire to go to the property and what makes one want to stay (sometimes referred to as dwell time).  The shop space on Avalon Boulevard is dominated by smaller, boutique type retailers popular with the affluent population surrounding the center.  Local chefs provide the driving force for the restaurant scene rather than national chains.  As a result, residents of Alpharetta can enjoy dining experiences that here before would have required a 20 mile drive into Atlanta.

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From a landscape design standpoint, Site Solutions selected various hardscape and landscape elements that stimulate all of the visitors’ senses and thus add to “the experience”.  Cobblestone and crushed gravel walking paths stimulate the sense of touch.  Fire pits and outdoor fire places in comfy living room settings complete with soft furnishings lend a warm, cozy feel.  A great deal of attention was focused on the plant material and site amenities/furnishings in the 0 to 3-feet high level where ones visual and tactile senses—color, material and texture can be stimulated.

In addition, Site Solutions wanted to stimulate the olfactory senses.  This was accomplished by the introduction of several VGP walls adjacent to the approaches to restaurants.  These approaches were purposely made more narrow to insure that the pedestrian would either brush against the plant material or at the very least be close enough to notice the fragrance of the culinary herbs and fragrant annuals/perennials planted in the trays.  The VGP trays also used annuals and perennials to add visual interest by introducing color.  Pinkberry has a specific color scheme consisting of alternating lime green and blue green bands around their building.  Site Solutions replicated this brand identity element in the living wall through the plants they selected.  David mentioned that the VGP walls have received a tremendous amount of positive comments on social media.  They really resonated with the community.

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The VGP was chosen because it offers flexibility when it comes to planting and maintenance.  The VGP trays allow for easy seasonal rotations if desired, or an arrangement for special events.  Site Solutions likes the fact that the weight of the system does not create excessive stresses on the building wall, how easy it installs, the ease of maintenance and how friendly it is on the budget (up to 30% less than other living wall systems).

According to Site Solutions, there may be more walls to come as the complex continues to be built – we’ll look forward to seeing them!

 

The VGP was chosen because it offers a lot of flexibility when it comes to planting and maintenance.  The VGP trays allow for easy seasonal rotations if desired, or an arrangement for special events.  Site Solutions likes the weight of the system on the wall, how easy it installs, ease of maintenance and how friendly it is on the budget (up to 30% less than other living wall systems).

According to Site Solutions, there may be more walls to come as the complex continues to be built out. We’ll look forward to seeing them!

Garden Design magazine features the Atlanta Botanical Garden

image courtesy of Erica George Dines/Atlanta Botanical Garden, via Garden Design magazine

Erica George Dines/Atlanta Botanical Garden, via Garden Design magazine

I just returned from a relatively lackluster AIA conference in Miami. It was as hot and humid as you would expect June to be in South Florida, and it gave a lot of architects an excuse for not going to the conference.  When I was leafing through the mail that had arrived while I was down there, I picked up Garden Design magazine, which in turn picked up my spirits.

There, in the first section of the magazine (they call it “fresh”), there was a complete article about the new Edible Garden section of the Atlanta Botanical Gardens, featuring a full-size image of the living wall.

The article featured Bravo Top Chef star Kevin Gillespie (left), a local Atlanta chef preparing food at the outdoor kitchen, and related why the ABG went for an edible wall in the first place. I wasn’t aware until I read the article that the entire edible garden was built in the place of a former parking lot.

The walls appear to be growing in nicely, and are even being harvested for the cooking demonstrations held there. While not the only star of the show (check out the pictures to see all the different edible garden features), it makes for a spectacular backdrop to the edible garden section.

Living Wall in the Edible Garden, Atlanta Botanical Garden

ABG Living Wall, 4 weeks after installation

A few weeks ago we published a post, “First Look at the Atlanta Botanical Garden Living Wall”. Those images were taken just as the wall was being installed.   The entire area, the Edible Garden, is opening this coming Saturday, May 1st.  Here are several more images of the Tournesol VGM system  taken 4 weeks after installation (after the break).

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Stunning interior living wall at Atlanta Botanical Gardens “Orchid Daze”

The Atlanta Botanical Garden is at the forefront of the living wall movement. They used our TerraScreen® interior living wall for their spring orchid exhibition, entitled “Orchid Daze” The video above shows a short stroll though the main exhibition hall.  More images and another video after the break.

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First Look, Atlanta Botanical Gardens Living Wall

Newly installed VGM system on radius wall

Thanks to our partner Saul Nurseries, who sent us these images of the VGM living wall being installed last week at the Atlanta Botanical Gardens by Valleycrest.  The wall is 52′ long x 8′ high, made up of 120 modules.  More images after the break…

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First look – VGM modules growing in for the Atlanta Botanical Garden Edible Garden

all images courtesy of Sauls Nursery

We received the first images today of the VGM™ modules destined for the new edible garden section at the Atlanta Botanical Gardens.  We’re working with our distributor Sauls Nursery, who is doing all the hard work – assembling the modules, filling it with their proprietary soil blend, then planting plugs to the designer’s specifications.  The finished product, designed by AECOM in Atlanta and Mesa Design Group in Dallas, will be installed by ValleyCrest Landscape later this spring. It will be approx. 52′ long x 8′ high, and will feature more than 4000 plants of 14 different species. More pictures after the break.

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