Power couple’s architectural journey

Penny Chanco
·2 min read

When Dumaguete City clients come to architect Ned and Menell Carlos, they habitually know what to assume, but they can never fairly express accurately what they will get.

Both are modernists who have verified over and over again that simple and practical are not adverse. Their aptitude to invoke commercial and institutional architecture without excess has made them the architects of choice for local corporations and schools for whom they fashion buildings so alluring in their details, so corporeal, and so spatially captivating.

Architect Ned and Menell are alumni of the University of San Carlos in Cebu City and received valuable involvement in several of Cebu City’s top firms before débuting their own studio. Ned started out with Espina, Perez-Espina Architects and Guanzon Architecture & Design, two of the biggest firms in Cebu responsible for Cebuano landmarks. He then worked for Brittany Estates Corp., a developer of themed subdivisions where he collaborated with some prominent names in the country’s design industry including Danny Silvestre, Sonia Olivares and Benny Velasco.

Menell worked under Architect Ramon Escario and later with Palm Tree Estates, developer of Coral Reef Hotel and Villa Plumeria condos in Mactan.

The couple then established Carlos & Antique Architects in 1997 in Cebu at the height of the Asian Financial Crisis but moved to Dumaguete City in Negros Oriental in 2002 as a straight outcome of this overwhelming quandary.

“The 1997 Asian Financial Crisis was an opportunity to start the practice,” said Ned. “While big construction came to a halt, the furniture exporters in Cebu were thriving primarily because their market was in Europe and America. The exporters were looking for young upstarts to design their houses and condominium interiors and we jumped in to ride with the tide.” According to Menell, the firm’s primary calling is “to fashion a better Earth, not just a poignant architecture for our clients’ unique lifestyle.”

Ned, who served two terms as president of United Architects of the Philippines-Dumaguete Chapter from 2011 to 2013, also pioneered teaching Architecture at Silliman University and Foundation University in Dumaguete City.

Albeit both architects are gratified with converging projects within the island of Negros, as this region lingers to advance and nurture, one can suppose that this practice would lay an ineffaceable impression in this part of the world.