Tag Archives: Wood

Thermally Modified Wood at McMullen Museum of Art

Have you ever seen a piece of art that stops you in your tracks? Sometimes a peaceful feeling washes over you, or maybe you’re drawn to a memory of another place or experience. Per Pablo Picasso, “Art washes away from the soul the dust of everyday life,” and I tend to agree. Speaking of art, the McMullen Museum of Art at Boston College, houses amazing works of art and also offers distinctive exhibitions, gallery talks and other events which bring the public to the museum.

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McMullen Museum of Art, Boston College

Last fall, the McMullen Museum of Art moved to a new location on the university’s Brighton Campus located in the former residence of Boston’s Cardinal Archbishop. The building, originally designed by Boston architects Maginnis and Walsh, was built in 1927 in the Roman Renaissance Revival Style. Modern architects DiMella Shaffer Associates out of Boston, collaborated with landscape architects from Carol R. Johnson Associates (CRJA) on the redesign.

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Side Balcony

For the remodel, CRJA specified Tournesol Siteworks’ products for a beautiful new 7’W x 20’L balcony and a 1,400 sq.ft amenity deck. Consigli Construction Co., out of Milford, MA, completed the installation. CRJA specified our Boulevard Structural Wood Tiles along with our Sliding Wood Tile Fasteners to connect the tiles in place. The wood tiles are 24″ x 24″ and are produced from Boulevard thermally-modified wood which goes through a process that 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 Boston’s winter weather) and makes Boulevard wood resistant to warp, twist and other movement. Over time, weathering will reveal the wood’s natural patina to a silver, grayish color.

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Amenity Deck

Along with our wood tiles, they selected our VersiJack support pedestals in various sizes. VersiJack are twist-to-adjust height pedestals, needed to accommodate this project for heights from 1-1/2″ up to 11″. The pedestals create a broad, stable base that can support more weight than any other pedestal system. Due to unevenness and slope of the deck base, they required our Platform Slope Correctors which can correct from 0% to 5% slope at 1% increments. Because this type of corrector sits on top of the pedestal, it is faster and easier to adjust to the correct slope, as well as being less expensive than a bottom slope corrector.

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VersiJack Adjustable Pedestals

This installation also required our low-raised decking product,  SpiraPave Adjustable Deck & Paver Support Jacks. This raised podium floor allows for rapid drainage, concealed services below, and reduced the installation cost compared to any other material.

We were excited to be part of the McMullen Museum of Art’s historic transformation and relocation – congratulations on their new digs!

Queen Anne’s Playful Uptown Parklet

Parklets are popping up all over the country, especially in major cities, and are beginning to change the pedestrian environment. These little “mini parks” have allowed the community to build public spaces for meeting, socializing, and as urban oases. Parklets have become really popular due to PARKing Day, a nation-wide celebration day rivaling the automobile-focused environment. It’s a day where the public takes back urban street parking slots and creates temporary parks filled with designers, artists and people seeking community interaction.

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Two years ago, the city of Seattle was challenged by PARKing Day and recognized its success in other cities such as San Francisco and Los Angeles. Since the city sought to create a number of parklets all over Seattle, the Seattle Department of Transportation (SDOT) announced its Pilot Parklet Program. The program opened an application process for communities and neighborhoods to submit for a parklet to be constructed in their urban area.

Seattle’s VIA Architecture, on behalf of VIA’s Community Design Studio, worked with a civic organization called The Uptown Alliance (which represents the Uptown Urban Center) to submit an application for the Queen Anne district. The “Uptown Parklet” was selected as one of 10 parklets and was fortunate enough to be one of the first constructed as part of the pilot program. Slater Construction, out of Seattle, worked with the team of designers, community volunteers and architects to build this parklet, completed in February 2015.

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We revisited this cool parklet this month (March 15), which features Tournesol Siteworks’ Boulevard Wood for the decking, benches and planter cladding. 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.

Weathering reveals the wood’s natural patina to a silver, grayish color (as shown in the photo above). The thermal-modification process also prevents moisture absorption (which is great for Seattle’s occasionally wet weather) and makes Boulevard wood resistant to warp, twist and other movement.

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Th Uptown Parklet is the perfect place for our Boulevard wood, with the public interaction, environmental exposure and continual community use. The wood has withstood wonderfully! We’re so glad that the Queen Anne district is enjoying their Uptown Parklet…go Seattle!