Carrier Johnson + Culture

Carrier Johnson picCarrier Johnson + Culture is designing high-profile projects in San Diego.  

By Kat Zeman 

When it comes to architecture and urban planning, Carrier Johnson + Culture brings more to the table than simple drawings. The San Diego-based firm focuses on delivering individualized solutions that blend technology, art and expression. 

Describing its architectural services as design-centric, the firm embraces creativity and thinking outside of the box. The San Diego-based company specializes in providing unique architectural solutions. It manages construction projects for clients in sectors that include healthcare, education, corporate, advanced technology, life sciences, residential, public and mixed-use developments.

Aside from exterior architecture solutions, Carrier Johnson + Culture offers services like interior architecture, forensic architecture and landscaping design. 

“We have a full landscape studio,” Managing Partner Vincent Mudd explains. “You can’t design a great building if you don’t get the outside right. Our corporate philosophy is that all design starts with open space. If you get the open space right, you have the foundation to design a fantastic building.” 

The firm has been known to tackle a variety of high-profile projects in the San Diego area. It designed the future site of the Legacy International Center in San Diego’s Mission Valley, a spiritually themed resort fathered by famed evangelist Morris Cerullo.

Also, if voters approve a referendum in November, Carrier Johnson + Culture will have another major project on the horizon. The proposal to redevelop the former Qualcomm football stadium in Mission Valley would create a mixed-use development for San Diego State University and its community.  

Intelligent Buildings 

Construction is moving forward at the Legacy International Center, which broke ground in May. The $162 million development will feature a new 125-room hotel, a pavilion with a 500-seat theater and a museum that will house religious artifacts. 

“When these buildings are finished, it will be a cross between an old world ethos and contemporary architecture,” Mudd says. “For example, the museum is not a box. It’s angled. When you walk in, there will be a reverence to it.”

The two-story museum, which will also serve as a welcome center, will feature a huge, interactive globe made up of dozens of touch-screen panels that offer information on cities around the world. Visitors will even be able to walk inside the globe. “Inside is a full motion theater that will fly you through the Bible,” Mudd says. “It’s quite a ride.” Carrier Johnson box

The 4-D History Dome Theater will feature vibrating seats, wind, fog, light strobes and scents. Other features of the museum include a variety of galleries with religious-themed video exhibits, an interactive exhibit area for children, museum space showcasing Morris Cerullo’s religious travels, catacombs lined with rock walls and a replica of Jerusalem's wailing wall.

“The stone in the museum is mechanically fastened,” Mudd says. “We are going to Israel to select the stone from a quarry. That gives you a sense of how important that building needs to look.” 

The pavilion, which will also serve as a university for religious studies, also has its share of unique features. 

“It’s a very highly interactive building,” Mudd adds. “Technology is integrated into its architecture. When a student enters the pavilion, the building will start downloading the student’s lesson plan into his phone. The buildings are very, very intelligent.” 

Aside from the museum and pavilion, the development has a retail component with restaurant space, a TV production studio and offices that will serve as national headquarters for Legacy International. 

An Urban Development 

Called San Diego State University West, the proposal to be decided by voters in November would transform an existing football stadium into a walkable campus environment. It would feature new student and faculty housing, additional university classrooms, a research park and a new hotel. It calls for retail space and a stadium that would be used for both soccer and football. 

“We were asked to come up with an education-centric urban development,” Mudd says. “It’s a new urban city with San Diego State University being the main benefactor. That university is an economic engine for our community.” 

In addition, the 230-acre site will also feature 90 acres of public open space and a river park. The site plan calls for restoring and embracing the San Diego River. “They want it to help the river conservancy and fix flooding issues,” Mudd says. “We’re also going to open the river to the community. Right now, you can’t even walk to it.” 

Also, the mixed-use development would provide housing for an additional 2,000 students and 400 faculty-housing units. It also calls for roughly 70,000 square feet of retail space, five campus office buildings and two academic buildings. The new stadium would seat up to 35,000 people. “It’s a big deal for San Diego,” Mudd says. “We think our plan will play a very big role.” 

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