Tag Archives: New York

Miracle on 34th St – Blast from the Past!

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This week, our Northeast Sales Manager, Phil Sheldon, was in New York visiting a few customers. He had an opportunity to revisit our products on the streets of New York, that we delivered nearly 15 years ago, and see how well the planters are holding up.

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34th St. Partnership Planters NYC

Back in 2002, we rotationally molded custom LLD polyethylene planters for the 34th St. partnership, a business improvement district in midtown Manhattan. We began working with their designer, Ignacio Ciocchini, as he was looking at various materials for the pots. He started the discussion assuming the pots would be made in FRP fiberglass. We convinced him that plastic could be done attractively, and be far more durable than the fiberglass.

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The planters are still there and will celebrate 15-years on New York city streets. They look remarkably fresh, given the traffic levels that they have to withstand. They all look like they could use a good cleaning (lots of splotches, likely from dirt that has splashed up from the sidewalk or the street). Because we used a custom green matrix finish, the dirt isn’t as noticeable as it would be on a solid-color pot.

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Planters in front of Penn Station, NYC

The planters see a lot of abuse and are subject to everything that happens on the sidewalk. They are in many places, in front of hotels with the luggage carts that may bump into them, as well as Madison Square Gardens above Penn Station. Even with all the abuse, the planter units have very little scuffing or physical damage – just a lot of grime.

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These pots replaced custom cast concrete planters, that only lasted a few years. That is a testament (a miracle, have you) to the durability of the material in a extremely taxing environment!

Rockin’ Summer at Rockefeller Center

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Rockefeller Center in New York City’s Midtown Manhattan is famous – the center has been filmed in movies of many genres for decades. Each winter, Rockefeller Center clears out space to create and hold an enormous ice-skating rink in the middle, where kids of all ages can have a blast. In the summer, Rockefeller Center is home to restaurants, gatherings and social events drawing a community of people and visitors from around the world.

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About two years ago, we took a first look at a restaurant project located in Rockefeller Center where our products were sold by our partners Tom and Sheila Boyce from DeepStream Designs. Now we’re taking a second look at the project this month and showing an update from just last week.

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Wilshire Rectangles

At the time of installation, DeepStream Designs worked with Bob and Karen Hoffbauer of Julius Roehrs Co., and their client, Patina Group, for this restaurant area located directly at Rockefeller Center.

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Wilshire Rectangles

Our Wilshire Collection rectangles and Urban Collection square planters were a perfect choice for this location – easily adding green to the urban environment and being able to stand up to the abuse of a heavily trafficked restaurant. Placing the planters on casters enabled easy and fast reconfiguration of the space – critical for this multi-purpose location! Casters and other Planter Options are available for most of our planter collections.

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“Wall” of Wilshire Rectangular Planters

The Urban Collection is sleek, simple, elegantly proportioned and tapered to work with most modern designs. The Wilshire rectangles are a straight-walled product that when placed next to one another appears as a long continuous wall (as shown in the photo above). Both Wilshire and Urban collections are available in FRP fiberglass and lightweight GFRC concrete, in a large range of sizes and colors – durable enough for most installations.

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Urban Collection Square

After two years, Tournesol Siteworks’ planters still look great and are holding up so well. The public is able to enjoy the planters as they are movable for events and they can be enjoyed year round!

 

The New Whitney Museum of American Art

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The Whitney Museum of American Art recently opened in a new building located in the Meatpacking District of lower Manhattan, New York, on the Hudson and at the southern entrance to HighLine Park (which Tournesol also participated in). The iconic museum was designed by architects Renzo Piano Building Workshop, with Henshell and Buccellato, Consulting Architects, out of New Jersey.

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The roof decks and visual ambiance of the building are simple and elegant, creating a fresh and vibrant usable space. However, water is no friend of the art inside the building, so strength and maximum water flow was of utmost importance to the designers and engineers. The broad terraces of the building collect large amounts of water, which needs to be effectively drained and kept from the building envelope.

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The installing roofing contractor, Eagle One Roofing from Queens, used our high-performance VersiCell Drainage Panels in a vertical and slanted orientation as a high-capacity drainage channel at the edge of the deck, between the substructure and the building envelope.

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Other drainage products compress over time, but the sub-surface VersiCell Drainage Panels are non-compressible, high-strength drainage panels. The panel’s durable open structure provided assurance to design professionals that water won’t collect where it shouldn’t.

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A Living Penthouse

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Some jobs just seem to take longer than others! In Jan. 2014, we were looking forward to being part of the renovation of Time Square’s Knickerbocker Hotel. It was in the process of being restored to its former glory, thanks to a $115 million makeover by new owners, FelCor Lodging Trust.

Architect Peter Poon and Designer Gabellini Sheppard took the interior down to the floor plates, so it is essentially a “brand new hotel”, except for its extraordinary, original Beaux-Arts facade, which was preserved. A NYC landmark since 1988, the building had functioned as an office building, but it is better known for hosting such guests as John D. Rockefeller, having its own subway entrance, and is thought to have been the birthplace of the original martini!

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The living wall, part of a design by landscape architect M. Paul Freidberg and Partners  of Manhattan, is finally complete! It is the highlight of an amazing Penthouse Suite, and features our VGM modular living wall system. Tournesol shipped over 500 of the 8″ deep VGM3-10 modules, which were installed on three of the exterior walls. Installation contractor  Blondies Treehouse  was responsible for the project installation. We’ve worked with them on a number of living walls in the NYC area.  Blondies was assisted with plant and soil design by Sempergreen and Moerings Green Roof Maintenance.

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The VGM were planted and installed early this year (a year after we anticipated), but have grown in through the summer and, according to Howard Freilich of Blondies. He commented that it was a tough installation, but that we can all be proud of the results.  Thanks, Howard – you make us look great!!

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It’s Tuesday – where am I??

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Roofdecks at the CCDC project (using our planter liners), Washington DC

“Why do all the industry trade shows get stacked on top of one another?”, I found myself thinking after ten days on the road. The last six weeks have been full of travel & conferences – Bond MultiFamily (a meetup of architects & product manufacturers specializing in multi-family residential construction) in April, followed by the mid-year meeting of the Landscape Architecture Foundation in Washington DC in early May.  The photo above was taken of the CCDC project in Washington during the LAF meeting. We provided planter liners for the roofdeck gardens for this spectacular project – we’ll feature it in a blog post soon.

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Visiting with designers at the HD Expo in Las Vegas – the South Chair in white, the Pillow Chair in orange

From there it was on to trade shows – Over the past two weeks we’ve exhibited at the American Institute of Architects National Convention (Atlanta), the Hospitality Design Expo (Las Vegas), the International Contemporary Furniture Fair (in New York with our partners from Luxxbox), and finally RECon (Las Vegas), the exhibition of the Intenational Council of Shopping Centers.

We met with well over 500 architects, interior designers, landscape architects and shopping center owners/managers.  There’s nothing like listening to your existing and potential customers – enlightening, to say the least.

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Viewing installed GFRC Urban Collection planters at the Linq, Las Vegas

 

Some of the highlights from the shows:

The South Chair and the Pillow Chair (see photo below). Both come in bright, interesting colors which grab designer’s attention. We knew that bright colors were in – but this confirmed it. While very different in execution, they herald our entrance into the cafe and casual furniture business.

Combine wood with brightly colored metal or concrete and people will notice it. Our Boulevard wood, whether in planters, furnishings or flooring, was the clear star of the show. The sustainable story, combined with its natural good looks makes it easy to get excited about.

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Tournesol partner James Shaffer of Streetscapes with an architect in our booth at RECon – The South Chair in black and berry, the Pillow Chair in orange

We’ve traditionally found our “sweet spot” with landscape architects.  Nevertheless, architects have been showing greater interest in the range of products we offer – especially living walls, wood decking and pedestals, Wilshire Box hanging planters and VersiCell drainage panel.  Being at the AIA convention was a great experience this year.

A surprise from this series of shows was the number of commercial interior designers that actively specify products in our markets. We met several that have specified us in the past (especially in the hospitality business), and most really like the work we do. It was a great reminder that our reach is sometimes greater than we think!

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Checking out the recent installation of Brisbane benches featuring Boulevard wood near Las Vegas

Taking it on the Road – from our May email blast

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With the additions to cafe and casual furniture line and the enthusiasm for our Boulevard Wood products, our sales staff is being kept busy this month making sure that we are where you are!

HD Expo – A Hospitality Design Event
May 13-15, Las Vegas

To kick things off, John DenmanJon Willingham and Chris Lyon will be exhibiting at the HD Expo (Booth #1333) at the Mandalay Bay, Las Vegas, May 13-15. We will be featuring theSouth Chair by our Australian Design partner, Luxxbox as well as our new Boulevard Wood plantershttp://www.hdexpo.com

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AIA Convention
​May 14-16, Atlanta
Regional Sales Representatives Brian Mitalo (Midwest/Southeast) and Cliff Goodman(Northeast/Mid-Atlantic) will be manning booth #838 at this year’s AIA Convention. It has been a few years since we attended this conference, but we are encouraged by the response to our ads in ArchRecord (we were on the short list for best ad award) and our outreach to the architecture community. http://convention.aia.org/event/homepage.aspx
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International Contemporary Furniture Fair
May 16 – 19, New York
Chris will be following up the HD Expo with a trip to New York for the International Contemporary Furniture Fair. Jason Bird from Luxxboxx will be exhibiting at the Fair, showcasing his contemporary furniture line that we’ve begun carrying, like the South and Pillow Chairs.  http://www.icff.com
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ICSC RECon
​May 17 – 20, Las Vegas
We will wrap up the month back in Las Vegas, May 17-20 for the ICSC RECon Show at the Las Vegas Convention Center. RECon is the global convention of the shopping center industry. Chris, John and Jon will be joined by David Shaw, the president of our partners at Street & Garden Furniture of Australia. We’re looking forward to introducing Street & Gardens’ newest product, the Yarrabilba Bench. We’ll be in booth #N1834 in the products section of the show. Be sure to stop by and see our products specifically targeting the Shopping Center community.
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From Coast to Coast

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Our partners, Tom and Sheila Boyce from DeepStream Designs, visited us from Florida last week. It was a great opportunity to show them our facility and give them a deeper understanding of our products and processes. While they were here, they shared with us images from one of their latest east coast Tournesol installations.

Movable fiberglass planters on casters at Rockerfeller Center by DeepStream Designs

Rockefeller Center’s Summer Garden

DeepStream Designs worked with Bob and Karen Hoffbauer of Julius Roehrs Co., and their client, Patina Group for this restaurant area located directly at Rockefeller Center.

Movable fiberglass planters on casters at Rockerfeller Center by DeepStream Designs

Our Wilshire Rectangles and Urban square planters were a perfect choice for this location – easily adding green to the urban environment and being able to stand up to the abuse of a heavily trafficked restaurant. Placing them on casters enabled easy and fast reconfiguration of the space – critical for this multi-purpose location!

Movable fiberglass planters on casters at Rockerfeller Center by DeepStream Designs

The Urban Collection is sleek, simple, elegantly proportioned and tapered to work with most modern designs. The Wilshire rectangles are a straight-walled product that when placed next to one another appears as a long continuous wall.  Both are available in FRP fiberglass and lightweight GFRC concrete, in a huge range of sizes and durable enough for most installations.

Movable fiberglass planters on casters at Rockerfeller Center by DeepStream DesignsWe’ve been working with DeepStream Designs for years, and appreciate them including us in this high profile location!

 

New for 2014 – A nod to the Knickerbocker

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As we continue to look at new projects for 2014, we must recognize Time Square’s Knickerbocker Hotel. An historic Beaux-Arts building build by John Jacob Astor IV in 1906, it is currently being restored to its former glory, thanks to a $115 million makeover by new owners, FelCor Lodging Trust . The all-new Knickerbocker is slated to open in mid-2014, and it has just been accepted into The Leading Hotels of the World fold. Architect Peter Poon and Designer Gabellini Sheppard have taken the interior down to the floor plates, so it will essentially be a “brand new hotel”, except for its extraordinary, original Beaux-Arts facade, which will be preserved. A NYC landmark since 1988, the building had functioned as an office building since the 1980’s but was better known for hosting such guests as John D. Rockefeller, had its own subway entrance, and is thought to have been the birthplace of the original martini!

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Tournesol Siteworks is excited to be part of this historical restoration per the specification of Landscape  Architect, M. Paul Freidberg and Partners  of  Manhattan.   As part of this massive renovation, the Penthouse Suite will have an amazing living wall featuring our VGM modular living wall  system. As of late December, Tournesol had shipped over 500 of the 8″ deep VGM3-10 modules, which are slated to be installed on three of the exterior walls. Installation contractor,  Blondie’s Treehouse , is responsible for the module planting, grow-in and irrigation installation.

knickerbocker-hotel-construction-6-2013-thumbWhen completed, the Knickerbocker will fulfill its original purpose, and welcome back guests to over 300 guest rooms and 40 suites including the spectacular penthouse. Keep an eye out for pictures of the finished installation at 42nd & Broadway!

11 Broadway, Brooklyn – Interior Living Wall

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all photographs courtesy of Sean Ealey, Town & Gardens

Town & Gardens of New York, following up on the spectacular living wall they installed at the Technogym showroom in SoHo, put in this fantastic interior living wall in the lobby of an apartment cooperative in Brooklyn. They used our TerraScreen interior living wall system, just like in the other installation. Continue reading 11 Broadway, Brooklyn – Interior Living Wall

Our newest project: Canon USA Headquarters, Melville, NY

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Canon USA Headquarters rendering for HOK, courtesy of Pixelplume

Tournesol Siteworks has been awarded a major contract for the production of our Wilshire Box hanging planters for the Canon U.S.A. Headquarters in Melville, NY.  We look forward to working closely with Steven Dubner Landscaping, the installing contractor. Turner Construction is the general contractor, EW Howell the construction manager, and HOK the specifying architect. Continue reading Our newest project: Canon USA Headquarters, Melville, NY