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An Arroyo Runs Through It

Tempe, AZ

Translated to English, arroyo means a dry watercourse that, when heavy rains occur, provides a pathway for stormwater to avoid flooding and carry water that supports local wildlife. Incorporating natural elements into design is a benchmark for outstanding landscape architecture. Naturally occurring land formations unique to a region, often inspire the design elements a firm will select to enhance built environments. The Arroyo in Tempe, AZ, is such a project; a commercial real estate office complex that incorporated outdoor commercial planters like Delta and Wilshire by Tournesol into their design plans. 

Trueform Landscape Architecture Studio in Phoenix, AZ, envisioned commercial planters with shapes and profiles that form stunning backdrops for the Arroyo entryway and parking structure. Delta and Wilshire commercial planters' shapes and profiles perfectly fit the goal of creating an inspirational desert oasis designed for innovative and industrial denizens.

Early plans specified trees, plants, and shrubs in large planting islands that would line the entrance to the second-story parking structure. "The drive that we are enhancing provides access into the site," Kevin Scholfield of Trueform shares. Kevin continues, "...and we really like the form of the Delta was a way to [mimic] the wave-like ridges seen in sand dunes created by the wind." Their goal for all projects is to "create aesthetically pleasing and environmentally responsible landscapes that thrive in hot and dry conditions." The Arroyo design plan would make an excellent first impression upon entering the complex, creating a welcoming experience for visitors and tenants.

As planning progressed and collaboration between the different trades continued, including structural engineering, it was found that the added weight of vegetation, soil, and water was not feasible on the 2nd-floor parking garage. That is when a new idea sprung into action. Trueform proposed coordinating the low-profile FRP Delta Planters with Desert Steel metal art for a lighter-weight solution. "We can get the look of plants without the [added weight of] plants, soil, and water."

Tournesol's Wilshire Collection of outdoor planters was installed at the bridge entry and throughout the complex by AAA Landscape, who noted how simple and easy it was to install them with the native and drought-tolerant plants selected. In the future, signage will be added to the large commercial planters to tell the story of arroyos' significance in desert landscapes.

Choosing the right outdoor commercial planters like Tournesol's Delta and Wilshire can enhance parking structures and function to serve the needs of commercial spaces, no matter the climate of a particular region, and that is important. The Arroyo is a great example of design innovation and the nimbleness required to meet client goals and vision.

Ready to add Delta or Wilshire commercial planters to your project or have an upcoming parking structure project? Reach out to Our Advisors, and we can share more information about how we partner for success!

Photos courtesy of Trueform Landscape Architecture Studio

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