By Delle Willett
Two of San Diego’s local landscape architecture firms are working on inspiring international projects in China and Qatar.
David McCullough, Principal, McCullough Landscape Architecture, is engaged with Zizhu HiTech Industrial City, a new urban innovation city in Shanghai China.
In 2016, McCullough was invited by Gafcon, Inc. to be the landscape architect for the industrial city, a new urban innovation city in Shanghai China.
Today, this new city is home to innovative technology corporations, including Scandisk, Intel, and Microsoft, as well as to research and manufacturers of automation machinery, biotech, energy, smart vehicle, and semiconductor technologies.
The Zizhu project is being developed in phases. Phase one includes a lake, known as the “Purple Lake,” which will be surrounded by residential towers, yacht homes, a commercial district, lake gardens and a luxury hotel.
After the design and plan preparation for phase one was completed, McCullough and Gafcon were invited back for phase two, which includes enhanced amenities and features. Currently, these first two phases are well under construction with the Gafcon/McCullough team.
Recently, Gafcon retained McCullough to study gardens that will surround the luxury business hotel. Eventually called the “Purple Garden,” it will span nearly 100 acres, south of downtown Shanghai and will serve as an amenity for the hotel, the new town of Zizhu and several other southern Shanghai districts. Some of the amenities and features of the garden will include an imaginarium, an indoor arboretum, botanical gardens, an art academy, children’s playgrounds and adventure zones and much more.
“We are grateful to be involved in such an exciting, highly creative, and cutting-edge project and welcome the challenge,” said Mccullough.
McCullough has offices in San Diego and Los Angeles. Visit their website for more information at www.mlasd.com
Patrick Baldwin, Partner, Burton Studio in Solana Beach, is challenged by Msheireb Downtown Doha. Branded the “Smart City with a Soul,” Msheireb downtown Doha is nearly completed as of 2021. The Burton Studio’s work on the project began in 2010 and the final fourth phase of the project will be opening shortly.
Said Baldwin, “While our travel to the region has slowed, the imagery we see has been thrilling and reflective.
“The project had a huge learning impact on the studio. Every line we drew required a story. This challenge has inspired the studio to take this into account on all of our projects. Whether that story lasts the lifetime of the project isn’t the most important. We see it as a simple tool that helps bring all of the stakeholders and designers on the project to unite in single vision.”
In 2018 Burton Studio learned the landscape of the project had been nominated for the Aga Kahn award. “The submittal process with the Aga Kahn committee was an incredibly enjoyable process and even though we were not shortlisted, the submittal process allowed us to relive the rigor and adventure this project brought to the studio,” Burton said.
Recently, Msheireb launched the Doha Design District (DDD), the new design hub centered within Msheireb Downtown Doha. This district will serve as the center of Qatar’s design and innovation. The curation of art was layered throughout their design work.
A public-art masterplan was woven through the project. Burton’s design task was to curate the stage for the art, defining the space, backdrop, and lighting that the future artists will be using as their canvas.
Burton Studio is in Solana Beach. Visit their website, burton-studio.com for images of Msheireb Downtown Doha.
— Delle Willett is PR advisor to the American Society of Landscape Architects, San Diego chapter, and is a freelance journalist. You can reach her at firstname.lastname@example.org