Commercial Landscape Planters

Project Spotlight: Club Monaco

In an earlier blogpost, we introduced a streetscape project for Club Monaco that we were working on in Seattle, WA. We wanted to revisit the finished project a few years after the installation and discuss the several types of planters that were used on the project. 

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The project was designed by Board and Vellum as part of the store design including a lush patio and landscape design.

Here is a link to their portfolio: https://www.boardandvellum.com/portfolio/downtown-retail-streetscape-club-monaco/

We had the opportunity to provide custom steel planters for the project. The planters were various sizes and heights, and some with custom sloped bases to match the paving.  They were built from 1/4” thick steel and powder coated.  We also design and manufacture commercial landscape planters in a wide variety of sizes, shapes, and material like corten steel, aluminum, and stainless steel.

Individual planters are available up to 13’x8’. For larger areas we offer modular planters. Modular models can be attached with included hardware and watertight gaskets to create much larger and countless configurations.  We offer design guidance and product solutions for projects in the early design stages or as part of a landscape renovation.

Modular planters can be a great solution for spaces such as streetscapes, plazas, rooftops, or other areas needing larger self-contained planting areas.  Typically, modular planters are used for areas that are too difficult or prohibitive for an installation crew to move without equipment.  Modular planters allow for more natural water and nutrient flow, and cleaner aesthetics, and generally larger plant material. These planters were placed without the use of equipment.  No onsite painting or coating was required and the joints are very subtle.  In addition to the leveling feet and skate blocks, we also offer numerous other custom options.

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Larger planters require cross bracing to keep the sides from bowing from the weight of drainage media, soil and plants.  Interior bracing at the top of the planters is a simple and effective way to keep the sides straight.  However, bracing must be carefully located to allow for root space of trees and larger material, while providing adequate strength.  The bracing in these allowed for 12 inches of free soil profile.  We offer engineering for custom and large scale planters. We want to make sure every project is a success for the client, designer, installer, and us.  We will gladly modify or relocate structural members (as much as possible) to accommodate plant material, electrical, irrigation, or other items that may run through or placed in the planter. 

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Our standard planters are built with .125” thick steel and aluminum.  All products are commercial grade.  All corners are formed or welded and ground smooth.  For larger and custom sizes and products we use up to .375” steel and aluminum.  We typically build them with a 1-2” wide formed top but they are also available in straight sides for a simple and clean look.  The Club Monaco planters had a 2” top flange.  Our standard planters are available in square, angled, or curved sides. Standard and large scale planters come with many standard options including but not limited to utility sleeves, leveling feet, drainage fittings, irrigation reservoirs, casters, skate stops, drip trays, locking hardware, integral led and step lights, custom cut designs, and decorative screens and trellises.

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Metal planters can serve many functions.  One is to highlight an entry way, add a pop of color to a landscape, help define a space, physically divide a balcony and patio, act as a guardrail on a rooftop garden or act as large scale commercial planters and streetscape planters.

Whether you are a building owner, landscape or general contractor, design firm, or property manager we would like the opportunity to discuss your project and provide high quality options for your landscape.


Rooftop planters

Spring is here. The sun is out, blossoms are on the trees, and we are all starting to spend a little more time outside. Whether that is working in your garden, entertaining guests, or catching the last bit of daylight while unwinding after a long day at work, chances are you’re outside enjoying the season. Which brings us to the topic of today’s blog post: Utilizing a small outdoor space using functional landscape elements.  

We are working on a project in Seattle’s Laurelhurst area.  The clients’ beautiful, newly built home, had a small yard that didn’t allow for much of a gardening space.  Instead, this area will be used for gathering and entertaining, which is important for them, but why not have both?

With the popularity of urban gardening and farming, what better way to get fresh veggies on your plate than to grow your own on your rooftop garden?  Their garage rooftop was engineered to accommodate the load of two large planters to be used as a garden space. We fabricated two, ten foot by four feet aluminum planters with a false bottom to keep things light weight and safe for the rooftop.

Aluminum planters off to get coated.

Aluminum planters off to get coated.

To make the install safer and easier, they were hoisted onto the roof and set on sleepers and shims. Weighing 400 lbs. a piece, they can accommodate up to 18” depth of planting soil.

We needed the help of a crane to hoist these massive planters on to the rooftop deck.

We needed the help of a crane to hoist these massive planters on to the rooftop deck.

Once they were placed, our sister company, CEM Design, installed irrigation through the bottom of each planter prior to the Cumaru wood deck pedestal paving. The planters were then filled with a light weight soil once again ensuring to keep things safe and as “light-footed” as possible. Once our work was done the client was able to enjoy their space and plant fresh veggies while still enjoying the atmosphere of the city.

The finished product.

The finished product.

Rooftop veggie garden planters with Cumaru pavers.

Rooftop veggie garden planters with Cumaru pavers.

 

With this project came a learning experience that helped us to develop heavy duty leveling feet. The different slopes of a roof, or even the ground for that matter, can create headaches while trying to level large planters. Using the knowledge gained on this project, we began developing ways to incorporate leveling feet that eliminate the need for shims on structure situations, like commercial/ mixed-use building rooftops that require precise weight distribution. We know that no two jobs, surfaces, and spaces are the same, so this feature now comes standard on all of our large custom planters as well as a scaled down version (optional) on all of our catalog planters.

Large street planters with part of the leveling feet attached. 

Large street planters with part of the leveling feet attached. 

We are in the middle of installing large, modular, custom steel planters for a Seattle streetscape that utilize the adjustable feet.  Not only do they help create a more polished and level product, they significantly sped up the installation time and reduced handling.

Installing streetscape planters with adjustable leveling feet.

Installing streetscape planters with adjustable leveling feet.

Bottom line:  the weather is warming up and now is the time to utilize our outdoor spaces whether they are big or small. Rooftop gardening smack dab in the city or cozying up next to a fire table with guests, we all deserve a little place to get some vitamin D and fresh air.  We can help every client achieve their own, special outdoor space that with our site furnishing, landscape elements, and creative solutions.