Business World (Redesigning Success)

Date: 
October 23, 2015

Redesigning Success

 The country’s first integrated resort among CASAS + Architects portfolio

CASAS + Architects started off as an off-shoot of the prolific, decades-long part-nership between Carmelo T. Casas and Jose Pedro C. Recio. The two carved out a reputation for themselves in the architec-tural scene in Hong Kong, beginning in 1976, and, in 1988, formally formed a firm named after them, RECIO + CASAS.

In 1990, the firm opened a branch in the Philippines after it was enlisted as a design consultant for a residential development in Makati City called Pacific Plaza, one of the tallest buildings at that time. Six years after, Arch. Casas flew back home to spearhead the development of Pacific Plaza Towers in Fort Bonifacio, in Taguig City, which are among the tallest and considered up to now as one of the best buildings in the country today.

Since opening up an office here, RECIO + CASAS undertook one project after another, including the ABS-CBN Broadcasting Studio complex, One and Two Lafayette Square, Sal-cedo Park, and the Richmonde Hotel. Arch. Casas and Arch. Recio gradually gained rec-ognition, acclaim and respect. In 1997, the firm was awarded as “The Firm of the Year” by the Philippine Institute of Architects.

In 2008, they decided to part ways, with Arch. Recio withdrawing from the partnership. Arch. Casas went on to manage the firm, which he renamed CASAS + Architects, taking another shot at success.

In a space of seven years, CASAS + Architects has grown into a well-admired and thriving firm in its own right,

demonstrating its expertise in architectural design and master planning of high-rise residential, mixed-use, institutional and commercial structures. It currently employs more than a hundred people handling assignments in architecture, interior design and master planning.

The numerous projects under the belt of CASAS + Architects attest to its com-mitment to meeting the requirements of its clients and its broadmindedness. It is one of the creative forces behind the country’s very first integrated resort, Resorts World Manila (RWM), which is today one of the premier leisure brands offering one-stop, nonstop top notch entertainment, world-class leisure alternatives, and some of the country’s finest hotels.

These include the all-suite Maxims Ho-tel, the five-star Marriott Hotel Manila, and value for money Remington Hotel, as well as the iconic Newport Mall that boasts shops and boutiques for international luxu-ry brands and high-end cinemas.

Included in this four-story mall are the award-winning Newport Performing Arts Theater — a state-of-the-art 1,500-seat venue for local and international artists and productions — and the Marriott Grand Ballroom, the country’s largest hotel ballroom.

Now an iconic fixture in the Manila skyline clearly visible from the moment one touches down at the city’s main inter-national airport, RWM owes much of its unique aesthetics and distinctive features 

to CASAS + Architects that have been in-strumental in RWM’s role of improving the image of the country and boosting tourist arrivals each year.

The firm is responsible for the design of Remington Hotel right across Ninoy Aqui-no International Airport Terminal 3 and re-cently completed the 3,000-sq.m. Marriott 

Grand Ballroom of the Marriott Hotel Ma-nila, also located in Resorts World Manila and can accommodate as many as 4,000 guests in a concert set-up.

Residential developments designed by CASAS + Architects include the Bayshore Residential Resort in Parañaque City, a complex with six residential clusters with access to a 135-meter-long beach-type pool with white sand; the high-rise, luxury residential The Bellagio 1, 2, and 3 Towers in Fort Bonifacio; 8 Forbestown; and The Grand Hyatt Manila Residences, also in Fort Bonifacio, which rises next to the 66-storey Grand Hyatt Hotel. It has designed offices, like the Newport Office 2 and 3, in Pasay City, which are 8-storey buildings connected underground, with approximately 3,400 square meters of space per floor, and a part-residential, part-commercial development similar to the St. Francis Tower and One Shangri-La Place in Ortigas, Quezon City, which sits atop a mall.

At present, CASAS + Architects is working on projects concerning the development of three major educational institutions in different parts of the country.

In recognition of the competence, integ-rity and dedication that he has exemplified in the architecture profession, Arch. Casas has been named the 2015 Outstanding Professional of the Year by the Profession-al Regulation Commission, a government agency responsible for the regulation and supervision of the practices of profession-als in the country.