We know our GRC U Bowl planters are pretty robust, but how well do they perform in a cyclone? Now we know the answer.
Recently we received this email from Gary Hewitt at Future Scene Landscaping who wrote:
Thought u might like this pic. We installed these pots for FKP Hayman Island back in 2014 ? Attached pic after cyclone 2016, now u know they are Cyclone rated.
Gary’s referring to Cyclone Debbie that hit Queensland’s Whitsundays region on March 28 last year with 263km/h winds and tidal surges. Hayman Island was hit hard and suffered considerable damage. But its good to know our planters survived unscathed.
Former Australian Minister Paul Keating grew up in the Sydney suburb of Bankstown. Today, Paul Keating Park within the City of Canterbury Bankstown honours his connection to the area. A new addition to the Park is an outdoor lounge suite made in GRC concrete by Quatro Design.
Back in late 2016, we were contacted by the Council about making outdoor furniture for an “Outdoor reading room” in the Park adjacent to the Bankstown Library and Knowledge Centre. The concept called for three-seater and single-seater sofas made in concrete. We came up with several design options, one of which was accepted by the Council and subsequently ordered and made.
Landscape Architect Adrian Webster at Canterbury Bankstown Council has sent us a photo of the installed seats. He commented that the seats are being ‘well used’.
The single-seater and three-seater sofas, together with a matching footstool, are now standard Quatro Design products. We’ve called the collection ‘Soffa’ which is the Swedish word for ‘sofa’.
Its not quite pebbles in the pool, but the new Fleurieu Regional Aquatic Centre in the South Australian town of Victor Harbour has plenty of our Pebble seats scattered throughout the landscaping.
We made the Pebbles in glassfibre reinforced concrete (GRC) using pure white cement and white sand so they’re naturally white. We think they look really cool, and they will also be cooler to sit on during hot sunny days. White reflects heat better and absorbs less heat than other colours.
When it comes to planter pots, we probably make the biggest in the world. Up until recently our largest pot was the 2.2 metre diameter U Bowl at 1 metre high.
But here at Quatro Design, we like to push the boundaries in manufacturing GRC planters. We’ve now released our new supersize bowl collection– ranging from 1.6 metres diameter up to a whopping 3 metres in diameter!
So what to call this new bowl collection? Renee in Accounts suggested calling them ‘Sumo’ bowls while Chris who is one of the Quatro Design owners came up with ‘Mega’ bowls. Then our estimator, Justin, topped the list with ‘super bowls’. So Justin wins — we’re calling it the ‘Super Bowl‘ collection.
Do you remember the Castrol advertising campaign “Oils Ain’t Oils” with Sol and his gangster friends – designed to introduce the motorist to ‘man-made’ synthetic oils? The point of the ads was that not all oils are the same. Likewise, products made in GRC (glassfibre reinforced concrete) are not all the same in terms of quality and durability.
Two recent emails we received clearly illustrated this reality. The first email was from an architect concerned that the planter boxes in a project he had designed had developed an ugly discolouration on the outside surface. The architect had specified Quatro Design planters for the project, and he therefore assumed that we had supplied them.
The photo the architect sent us showed the planter exteriors had developed a mottled, uneven appearance with efflorescence leaching from the walls around the base. We have been making planter boxes for over 12 years but I have never seen any of our planters looking like this.
From a close examination of the photo we could see that the planters were not made by Quatro Design. We also checked our records and saw that we had quoted a builder to supply the custom planter boxes but we had never received an order for them. The builder had instead purchased and installed a presumably cheaper alternative which also turned out to be an inferior alternative. The cost to the builder in rectifying the problem will be considerably more than the initial saving he made.
The second email we received was from a home owner in Sydney who had had a ‘GRC’ bowl water-feature installed in 2013 by a landscaper. The bowl developed cracks around the rim, and it was replaced with a similar bowl in 2014. This second bowl has now also developed cracks around the rim, and is disintegrating around the base so that it no longer holds water.
Because of the design, the home owner thought that the bowls may have been purchased by the landscaper from Quatro Design. She attached several photographs which confirmed to us that we had not supplied the failed bowls. She now plans to order a genuine Quatro Design GRC bowl. I’m confident she won’t be disappointed. I have a similar-sized bowl in my own backyard that features water lillies and gold fish. I installed almost it almost 10 years ago, and its still as good as on the day I filled it with water.
The lesson is that not all GRC is the same, and you generally get what you pay for.
At Quatro Design we use the best materials available in our GRC pots, planters and street furniture products that we make right here in Australia. We don’t cut corners in their manufacture, and we provide a two-year warranty. So while you may pay a little more, you also get a superior product.
Quatro Design is proud to have been involved with Elements of Byron, a new resort and spa development located in Byron Bay.
Opening in early February 2016, Elements of Byron takes architectural inspiration from the native flora and fauna of the area. Organic and feminine in form, the low impact single-story pavilion blurs with its surroundings, with the landscape and interiors typically Australian in style.
The Byron region is home to many great artists, glass blowers to ceramicists and painters, with the resort commissioning several of these local artists to produce work in various media. In keeping with the desire to keep all things ‘authentically Byron’, Quatro Design in nearby Murwillumbah produced various GRC (glassfibre reinforced concrete) elements for the project’s outdoor spaces. These included a 2.3 metre diameter fire-pit, pool-side stools and side tables, and Quatro’s new ‘Avocado’ seat in in the day spa. All were made in a colour palette inspired by the resort’s unique natural surroundings.
The Langham Hotel, which has won almost every prestigious domestic and international award, is a superb urban retreat known for its tranquil, boutique ethos, recently underwent extensive refurbishments to the tune of $30 million. A complete redevelopment of the lobby, dining areas, guest rooms and ballrooms saw London based design firm GA Design transform the hotel with classical & elegant design aesthetics and most importantly opening up the hotel to magnificent harbour views.
Building works were overseen by ICMG and Quatro Design was proud to be a part of the finishes schedule, including numerous GRC planters including window planter boxes on the Kent St entrance, and cube & trough planters boxes on the harbour side balconies. A single custom designed painted grc planter at the centre of the formal dining room was a hit with the design team and a few others have been commissioned for this project.
Many who have visited The Star Casino at Darling Harbour in Sydney will have seen the large Quatro Designer Bowls at the front entrance to the building. More recently Quatro planters were installed on the rooftop deck areas as part of the Casino’s upgrade.
The installation of over 50 planters required five semi truck-loads to deliver to site. It included four of our 2.3 metre Designer Bowls plus many 1.5 metre diameter planters from our U-Bowl range. All were painted in bright red colours.
The Quatro Design planters were specified by Occulus Landscape Architects, and were installed by Regal Innovations.
Here at Quatro we have been working hard in developing and building on the success of our SOUL range of planters with complimentary matching street furniture modules. SOUL plays tribute to the traditional terracotta flowerpot, simple in design, timeless and elegant, making ths range ideal for use in wide open spaces such as urban streetscapes, plazas and malls.
A new addition to the Quatro product range is the Flinders street furniture collection manufactured in GRC (glass fibre reinforced concrete). Designed by acclaimed Australian designer Alex Lotersztain in collaboration with Street & Garden Furniture, the Flinders Collection was originally produced in precast concrete for the Flinders St revitalisation in Townsville.
Modular in nature, the collection offers an array of seat combinations that can be linked to create flow within the outdoor space. Benches come in varying lengths, some with 90 or 120 degree angled returns. Options include recessed timber seat sections, timber seats spanning between benches, and one bench with lightbox seating.
These modular benches complement many contemporary urban design projects. For more information, contact us by phone or email.