Tag Archives: San Francisco

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.

 

 

Fresh, Cool Style at Hotel Zephyr

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San Francisco is a city that is alive, constantly morphing and changing. The breeze from the bay brings the sounds of the waterfront to the courtyard of the Hotel Zephyr, close to Fisherman’s Wharf in San Francisco, CA. The hotel has recently refurbished the exterior decor and has created a uniquely different environment for hotel guests, including a fire pit and a large, 40 foot periscope with views of the water and Alcatraz.

Zephyr 1

Being close to the bay, Jett Landscape Architecture + Design wanted to bring port and shipping elements of the wharf into the Hotel Zephyr project design. Using large segments of metal shipping containers, they created walls surrounding the courtyard of the hotel. Jett Landscape specified Tournesol Siteworks‘ VGM Modular Living Wall System on one wall of the courtyard, which was installed by Eggli Landscape Contractors, out of Redwood City, CA.

Zephyr VGM

The VGM Living Wall 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 amazing results. Eggli also installed our stabilized Media Block, an organic base material stabilized into a sponge-like block that fits perfectly in the VGM module. The media block absorbs up to five times its weight in water, but only weighs 40 lbs./pcf, facilitating even irrigation, faster grow in and optimal plant health.

Zephyr 5For a rustic effect, they used steel sheet pilings (also used on the waterfront) for decoration in the northeast corner of the courtyard. Inside the pilings, we created custom trapezoid-shaped Welded Planter Liners that are 34″ wide in back, 15″ wide in front, 48″ tall, and 18″ deep. The welded planter liners were inserted into the steel pilings and used as planters.

Zephyr 4

At the front of the stylish Hotel Zephyr, Patrick Lamar from RHI Construction out of Santa Rosa, installed our Boulevard Wood Decking, which compliments the entrance (as shown in the photo below). Our Boulevard thermally-modified 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 San Francisco’s wind, rain and bay weather) and makes Boulevard wood resistant to warp, twist and other movement.

Zephyr 3

We are thrilled to have been part of the redesign of Hotel Zephyr and to be part of this cool stylish, trendy installation – right in our own backyard (well, across the bay at least).

Looking forward to 2014

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2014 is has started off strong. We’ve entered into the new year working on a lot of great projects, and thought it might be interesting to share a few of them with you.

Tournesol Siteworks is currently working with Smith & Smith Landscape on an exterior renovation project for the Hotel InterContinental in San Francisco.

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We previously provided the hotel with planters on the upper decks when it was built in 2007.  They are now looking to make some street level improvements by adding custom planters along the west and southern street sides of the building.  Installation should commence in early 2014.

The landscape architect outlined an extensive planting area which we had to figure out how to make level, as the sidewalk slopes quite a bit. We  will be using our  VersiJack adjustable paver pedestals  to level the planters and create a skirt along the front that will follow the slope of the sidewalk and cover the pedestals.  We will also be using our  irrigation and drainage system inside the planters as the hotel is concerned about keeping maintenance costs to a minimum and minimizing water usage.

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It has been a quite design-intensive project. Smith and Smith had a great design, but on a sidewalk project like this (especially in San Francisco), the devil is in the details. We went through many of the same issues (including leveling the planters, creating a skirt, etc.), working on a similar type of project with Carducci & Assocs. at the   Grand Hyatt Union Square in San Francisco last year.IMG_1858Our recent January email blast included information on this projects as well as a series of others. If you would like to be included in our email list or received the new 2014 catalog, please us an email at  catalog@tournesolsiteworks.com.  Alternately, you can download a copy at: tournesolsiteworks.com/uploads/cmsfiles/Tournesol_Siteworks_2014.pdf .
 

Tournesol Siteworks a sponsor of AIA-SF Vertical Gardens Exhibition

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courtesy of AIA San Francisco

The American Institute of Architects, San Francisco Chapter (AIA San Francisco) and the Center for Architecture + Design Gallery are hosting an exhibition from February 18th – April 30th, 2010.  From the AIA-SF press release:

The past decade has seen a greater emergence of green roofs and vertical gardens created by artists, designers, architects and urban gardeners to combat the lack of flora in the city. Buildings around the world—from the Musée du Quai Branly in Paris, to the California Academy of Sciences in San Francisco—have embraced green walls or roofs for all their economical, environmental, and aesthetic values. Vertical farms and gardens are also being envisioned as new ways to feed local and organic foods to city dwellers. Largely based on the principles of hydro-ponics, vertical gardens are mostly self-sustaining because they capture large amounts of natural sunlight and water, and use wind as an energy source. In a country where cities are suffocated by high rises, cement and industrial materials, where can green space exist? As this exhibition demonstrates, one possible answer is “up.”

Tournesol Siteworks is pleased to be an exhibition sponsor. The opening celebration and lecture is taking place on Thur., Feb. 25th.  Register and get your tickets here

It is amazing to see the creativity that is being directed by the design community towards the living wall space.  There isn’t a day goes by that another green building concept hits the design blogs, usually covered by plants somehow.  We’re betting that many of those designers will need to figure out effective means of putting those plants on the building!