Sustainable Pathways Create Vibrant Connections

The Campus on Villa La Jolla

As an aging campus that included Rock Bottom Brewery, an office complex and a new medical office building – this site desperately needed a face-lift. The new look is colorful and contextual, engaging. A pedestrian bridge on the property funnels large amounts of UCSD students off the campus and into the neighborhood, yet the center previously had no pedestrian connection from the street and the bridge to the core of the site. Part of the scope of the project was to add a pedestrian spine, with an outdoor “lobby” type space that welcomes pedestrians.

In addition, the original plant palette of tropical water-loving plants was exchanged with very drought-tolerant natives and naturalized planting. The idea was to pay respect to the surrounding natural hillsides while significantly decreasing water and maintenance expenses. All turf and regionally inappropriate plant material were removed from the site. New dramatic lighting, furniture, and signage components were added for theatrical effect and the site was ultimately made much more pedestrian friendly.

The McCullough Team Expands to Support Client Projects

Our firm is expanding with the addition of THREE new members to our team. We’re also excited to announce the promotion of one of our designers to Senior Associate!

Eric Tran

Eric Tran Photo

Returning to San Diego and McCullough after a couple years away from the firm, Eric Tran has come on board as an Associate Designer, working towards his professional license as a landscape architect.

Eric is a graduate of Cal Poly, Pomona with a B.S. in Landscape Architecture. He began his career as a lead landscape designer for a design/build construction company and furthered his master-planned community design experience working with a firm in Orange County.

Eric was born in Pennsylvania and moved to Orange County where he went to high school. Since first working with McCullough, Eric has married long-time girlfriend, Wendy and they now reside in the city of Vista. Besides landscape architecture, Eric enjoys active hobbies that include cross-fit, running and hiking. His project involvement at McCullough includes design development, client meetings and construction document development.

Alex Wade
Junior Associate

Alex Wade Photo

Alex Wade’s expertise in sustainable design and passion for his hometown community here in San Diego means he will fit right in with us as Junior Designer.

Alex is a recent graduate from Cal Poly, Pomona’s Landscape Architecture program with an emphasis in Sustainable Design. He has been able to work in various locations from Southern California to the Colorado Rockies for various firms as part of extensive internships. Alex appreciates how diverse the landscapes may be between the two geographic areas he’s experienced, as well as the people who live within them. However, considering the Southern California weather, after graduation he recently moved back to his hometown of San Diego.

Alex considers himself to be easy going and someone who likes to continuously maintain friendships and his professional network. He strives to better his hometown community where he’s most comfortable and most knowledgeable about the surrounding area. In his spare time, Alex enjoys a wide variety of sports, especially those that take him outdoors where he enjoys practicing his hobby of photography.

Suzzette Sinclair
Administrative Manager

Suzzette Sinclair Photo

Joining us as our new Administrative Manager, Suzzette’s love of landscaping and the exceptional knowledge and skills she brings to the table will expand our capabilities and enable us to support additional projects.

Suzzette grew up in rural areas of California and Montana, spending much of her time outdoors, exploring and enjoying the wildlife.

It was only natural for Suzzette to obtain a Park and Recreation Management Associates degree in San Diego, before designing her own Bachelors of Natural Resources Policy and Administration, at Humboldt State University. It was there that she was recognized and recruited by the US Forest Service, training in NEPA and land use laws; while concurrently completing her Masters of Rural Geography at Northern Arizona University. Following her love of the outdoors, she worked in urban forestry before finding her niche in natural resources architectural and engineering contracts. She completed her Contract Management Certificate before diving into a law degree at the University of San Diego Law School.

Suzzette’s role at McCullough will include contract and project administration, office management, and human resources. She enjoys landscaping, cooking, traveling, with her family. She couldn’t be prouder of her children and grandchild.

Benjamin Arcia, M.U.D.
Senior Associate

Ben Arcia Photo

After working with McCullough for just over four years, we’re happy to announce the promotion of Benjamin Arcia to Senior Associate landscape designer. Ben demonstrates a high-level of creative design with a keen eye for planning and detail. We’re happy for him to demonstrate his leadership skills on exciting and diverse projects. Well done, Benjamin!

Archtoberfest, San Diego’s Architecture & Design Month

We kicked off Archtoberfest on September 28th with PechaKucha Night at Thompson Building Materials. This edition of the creative "chit-chat" series included a presentation by our very own David McCullough on the evolution of architectural design. PechaKucha Night is the first of various architecture, design, planning, and sustainability events going on throughout the month of October, which will culminate in a huge blast at the 2017 Orchids & Onions Awards Ceremony on Thursday, October 26th.

As devoted advocates of historic preservation, we are pleased to announce our sponsorship of the event in this category and celebrate the built environment and architectural community of San Diego County.

Enjoy food, drinks and honor the 2017 nominated projects, including the lookers AND the stinkers! We invite you to kick up your heels and join us for this renowned event!

Register Here >

View Our Orchids & Onions Nominations >

Rejuvenating a Garden That Inspires

As the heart of their community, the central green had become a sea of brown grass. The residents at Vista Del Monte, a highly desirable senior living facility located in Santa Barbara, had deserved better. They needed a space to relax and enjoy, filled with life and color. The residents and management were under direction to reduce their water consumption. However, a dead lawn was not serving the community in any way. McCullough Landscape Architecture was invited to work with the ownership staff, residents and general contractor to imagine a solution that achieved a wide range of goals. The design was primarily focused on facilitating social interaction. Other goals for the design were to be cost-effective, colorful, drought tolerant and a space for promoting outdoor activities.

McCullough’s landscape consisted of many diverse design elements. A few of these elements included:

  • Masses of colorful native plants that mixed with lush woodland species (which are well suited for shady areas beneath the mature pines and magnolias)
  • Special attention was placed on preserving a grove of mature trees that had large root zones, posing a challenge for circulation
  • Soft, curvilinear decomposed granite walkways which swayed through textural, mounded garden areas
  • Quiet seating areas, or pods, were positioned throughout the garden
  • A turf area was reduced by 2/3 through a small formal lawn, allowing a familiar landscape for the residents to remain while also reducing water usage

McCullough has designed a space where the residents are able to fully enjoy the garden  and surrounding nature.

Shawna A. Bortolussi, LEED-AP
Associate Landscape Architect, McCullough Landscape Architecture

McCullough: Experts on Mixed-Use Urban Development

In a recent article published in the San Diego Business Journal, McCullough discusses how Public-Private Space in Mixed-Use Development can transform the landscape of San Diego.

“It’s a neighborhood, a community, and perhaps most importantly home to families and individuals who live, work, and play within their community,” said David McCullough.

As Seen In San Diego Business Journal