The McCullough team has a New Year’s tradition of reflecting on all that we have accomplished this past year and the design projects that stand out as favorites. Here is McCullough’s Best of 2018 from our talented team of landscape designers. Enjoy!
—David and Catherine
Beach Terrace Inn | Carlsbad, CA
DAVID MCCULLOUGH, RLA
PRINCIPAL LANDSCAPE ARCHITECT
Beach Terrace Inn is one of the few beachfront properties at the end of Carlsbad Village Drive. Built in 1960 at the edge of city’s village downtown, the property has had several renovations and expansions. What started as a number of seismic upgrades, the family-run business decided that minor site upgrades were long overdue. What happened to the original project scope was incredible! We illustrated 3D renderings and showed some internal cost benefits that convinced the owners to make the additional upgrades that, in effect, brought more value to the property.
The hotel sits at the top of the bluffs in Carlsbad and terraces down to the beach with a difference in elevation of over 50 feet. The top units have incredible Pacific Ocean views and the lower units open to a private beach. Looking up at the hotel from the beach below, the property resembles a European coastal cliffside village.
The elevation differences and the proximity of this property to the ocean is what made it interesting to our team.
Design Thinking Beyond the Possibilities
We started thinking beyond the possibilities of site improvements and explored building renovations that would transform room views. Two buildings stack up the buff at one point with the upper building positioned directly behind the front building. The front building was originally constructed with a faux, non-structural Mansard roof that partially obstructed the views from the rear of the building. We recommended removal of the faux roof, and upon further research it was discovered that the original design had anticipated a future activated rooftop deck. This, along with amenities and plant material, soon became part of the design concept. The roof re-construction, now part of phase three for the property, was one of several improvements that were proposed. During the hotel’s slow season in the Fall of 2018, the hotel completed construction of phases one and two. This included general site upgrades, building and structural enhancements, pool and spa deck renovation, a new green roof on a portion of one of the buildings, access improvements and general landscape upgrades.
The challenges for a property like the Beach Terrace Inn are substantial, as is often the case with remodel projects on sensitive sites. But the opportunities, the relationship built with the client, and the consideration that the involvement on a property will benefit the Carlsbad downtown community as a whole, made this project one of our top choices for 2018.
Zizhu Purple Bay | Shanghai, China
NABY MACIAS, ASLA
The Zizhu Purple Bay, led by Gafcon has to be my favorite project for 2018. This is an 800 acre-mixed use community in Shanghai, which we proposed as an intricate open-space system that compliments the urban fabric and supports the existing ecology. The design embraces the natural waterfront at the edge of the property. The design consists of a man-made canal that cuts through the site introducing programmatic elements such as a retail center, waterfront park and a nature walk leading to the water. The open space tells a strong ecological story extending from the water’s edge and out into the city. This creates a regionally appropriate plant palette and deploys best-management practices that improve the water quality throughout the city limits.
9880 Campus Point Drive | La Jolla, CA
BRIAN FREDERICK, ASLA, PLA
ASSOCIATE LANDSCAPE ARCHITECT/BUSINESS DEVELOPMENT
The project at 9880 Campus Point Drive has been an incredibly collaborative project with the design teams of DGA and BWE, along with our client, Alexandria Real Estate Equities. For this office building, our primary consideration was focused on the naturalized, human, work-environment experience. We paid special attention to creating scenes and organizing various elements in the landscape for a picturesque project full of spectacular views of the canyon and the on-site wilderness.
mesa college center for business technology (CBT) | san diego, CA
maha balachandran, int’l asla
Building strong, collaborative relationships with our clients is at the core of our values. That’s one of the reasons I choose the CBT project. It was our third design-build project for the college working with the teams from Gensler, San Diego Community College District, the faculty and students. These relationships help us fulfill the school’s mission through our design by “providing accessible, high-quality learning experiences for all students.”
Renderings courtesy of Gensler
8th & B | National City, CA
ERIC TRAN, ASLA
STUDIO TEAM LEADER
The 8th & B project is my favorite for 2018. It is located in National City and is a high-energy, mixed-use development project. Consulting with Miller Hull Partnership has been a great collaboration with their team. Together, we brought new life to a property that will stand as a showplace for the city as it strives to revitalize the area. The project consists of a variety of housing units, commercial spaces, public gathering spaces and offsite improvements slated to be a downtown hub. This is a project to keep your eye on, as it becomes a “go to” place for the community.
Streetview renderings courtesy of Miller Hull
Oscar’s | Temecula, CA
ALEX WADE, ASLA
Another year brought in several new opportunities to learn from the projects and experiences throughout the design and build process. One of my favorites was getting to re-design, along with PGAL Architects, the last remaining family-owned Oscars adjacent to the attractive Duck Pond park in Temecula. It was fun for me because Pat & Oscar’s was an iconic (and delicious) San Diego Restaurant. The family, while retaining some of the signature items, like breadsticks, is completely upgrading the restaurant, including the addition of a brewery. The building features a lot of vines growing up trellises and walls, while the parking lot and entryway was also given a facelift for a native and more water-wise landscape. Our choices are sure to impress environmentally conscientious clientele. It’s also important to note, while staying aligned with our philosophy to always try to preserve existing trees, we were lucky enough to work with a client who wanted to retain most, if not all, trees on site which we were 95% able to accomplish.
Takeda | La Jolla, CA
ARMANDO SILVA, ASLA
This was a collaborative project with LPA that transformed an old office park site into a new landscape and architectural experience. Takeda, a pharmaceutical company, wanted to create an environment that took cues from its surrounding context and magnificent views in Sorrento Valley, and to provide ample outdoor space for their employees. We worked closely with the client Alexandria Real Estate Equities and LPA to develop a native plant palette that would grow into a lush vibrant landscape. Multiple pockets for gathering and outdoor conference rooms were designed along a trail that winds around a planted lush basin, offering incredible views and to serve the purpose of treating storm water. Situated along the main entry walk is a large field that will be used for sports and other gatherings. This feature supports the company’s value of providing opportunities for employees’ physical health and well-being. An explosion of chaos and color draws people through the landscape. This project creates harmony and balance and bleeds the lines between disciplines — a true example of grit, soul and style.
We are grateful to our clients, colleagues, family and friends who have been integral to our great success in 2018. We look forward to the budding opportunities that 2019 holds for the McCullough team!