Cañizares Architects Design Company (CAD Co.), founded by renowned Cebuano architect, Jose Mari Cañizares, celebrated its 50th anniversary last November 29, 2022, at the Citadines Ballroom, Base Line Center.
The important milestone was attended by CAD Co. clients, friends, and suppliers. Cebu City Mayor Michael Rama graced the occasion.
Through the 50 years of his firm’s existence, Architect Mari has gained recognition and awards for excellence from both local and international organizations including the 2003 Outstanding Professional of the Year award given by the Professional Regulation Commission. He was elevated to fellow for his contribution to architecture by the United Architects of the Philippines, he was also conferred in 2008 as an APEC architect, which enables him to provide architectural services throughout the Asia Pacific region and allows him to collaborate with other APEC Member Architects. He is also a Registered ASEAN architect since 2016, that allows him to collaborate with other ASEAN Architects in their respective countries.
Architect Mari’s first project was a house with a coral stone facade in Maria Luisa Park. The project was completed in 1973 and was awarded the 1978 Bahay Filipino Award for its outstanding design and innovative use of indigenous building materials.
Early in his career, his clients were his relatives and family friends. To gain the confidence of his first clients, he made himself look older than his age of 23 years by growing a beard and putting white powder on his hair. But he soon realized that building a reputation could not be achieved overnight.
In time, with repeat clients and referrals, the number of his projects grew and became more diverse. His projects include malls and strip malls, banks, resorts and hotels, condominiums, townhouses, and schools.
He pioneered the design of beach resorts and other master-planned communities in Cebu and neighboring islands. These include the Pulchra Resort, Badian Island Resort, and Bohol Beach Club. As part of his initiative to give back to his community, he designed several churches such as the Mactan Sto. Nino Church which is shaped like a Magellan’s helmet, Parish of The Alliance of Two Hearts and the expansion of Redemptorist Church.
Architect Mari’s interest in architecture began when, as a young boy, he saw carpenters constructing the family residence in General Maxilom Ave. He played with the sawed bits of wood, constructing a mini city inside his bedroom cabinet. He chose to take up architecture, thinking about how it impacts on the lives of people. It has been said that “Architecture is the most lasting and revealing record of civilization,” he shared.
“From concept to creation, I treat my projects with the same care I give to my own children,” says Architect Mari.
“My design philosophy is that the structure should be in harmony with its natural environment. As such, we try to preserve as many trees as we can in my designs – an influence of my mother who was the president of the Cebu Garden Club for many years” he explains.
In the 80s, Architect Mari searched for alternative materials to the coral stone because harvesting coral stone had an adverse impact on marine life. “A friend was exporting the Sudtunggan stone to Japan and I began to use it. I found Sudtunggan difficult to pronounce, so I suggested that it was better to call it Mactan stone.” The Mactan stone became Architect Mari’s signature finishing material and he used it in his design in several of his projects in the early 1990s.
In 2011, Architect Jose Diego “Jiggy” Cañizares, Mari’s son, joined the firm as a managing partner. Another son, Architect Kenzo John Cañizares, also joined the firm in 2016.
In 2019, the firm, originally known as JM Canizares architects, was renamed the CAD Corp. CAD’s mission is to develop great design solutions that satisfy quality, budget, efficiency, and environmental responsiveness.
Mari and his two sons look forward to the next phase of CAD Corp.’s development into an integrated design solutions company with international reach. Jiggy says “Like our father, we hope to make our own mark in creating more livable and inspiring spaces, one building at a time.”