The firm CM&A was established in Barcelona in 1916 by César Martinell i Brunet 1888-1973, a young and brave architect under the umbrella of Antoni Gaudi, his mentor and master. The firm developed a large number of industrial, residential and commercial projects in the period 1916-1936 and stopped activities for 3 years due the Spanish Civil War. In 1939 Mr Martinell was appointed as Architect of the National Service of Artistic Patrimony and the firm collaborated in the construction of a large number of churches, monasteries and historic buildings that have been damage during the War, for a period of 20 years. The firm at its start was Modernism (Art Nouveau) turning to Noucentism years later. His masterpieces were his designs for wineries, which are called the cathedrals of wine (les catedrals del vi) due to their magnificence. The disruptive use of traditional architectural techniques and materials helped to build these monumental buildings at affordable cost. Wine cathedrals are located in several cities of Catalonia such as Falset, Nulles, Cornudella de Montsant, Montblanc and Gandesa, and some of them can be visited. He also designed other agricultural related buildings like the flour mill of Cervera and he managed restoration projects, such as the Basilica of Santa Maria in Igualada.
In 1958 César Martinell i Taxonera, son of the founder, joined the firm after having a period of training in Paris, at the offices of Mr. Georges Candilis, one of the closest partners of Le Corbusier. The same year the firm was engaged to be the responsible for the landscape and planning of the town of Cadaqués, the summer home of Salvador Dali and carried out until 1984, being a reference for the Spanish Mediterranean architecture and planning control. CM&A became on that period one of the largest firms in Spain, offering practice in education, office buildings, hospitals and housing.
César Ramirez i Martinell, grandson of the founder, is nowadays the president and CEO of the firm. At the age of 16 he joined the firm and participated in a large number of residential and planning projects such as the Cadaqués Masterplan.
During his stay in UC Berkeley he was in close contact with Professor Violich, Chairman of the University's Department of Landscape Architecture and Environmental Planning. In New York he collaborated with the prestigious studio WC&A, internationally known for his work in Luxury Retail.
At the age of 26 he established his first company, Back Pack International, and shortly after he chaired AIJEC. Mr. Martinell is member of the board of several other companies related with construction and engineering and had the opportunity to participate in the large scale projects developed in Barcelona in the late 90st such as the MACBA from Richard Meier, the Olympic Village construction and the Gran Teatro del Liceo. He has also collaborated with The Bilbao Guggenheim Museum of Frank Ghery and La Ciudad de las Artes y las Ciencias de Valencia from Calatrava.
In addition, in 2006 CM&A established the spin-off named Barcelona Housing Systems, a company focused on building industrialised large scale high quality integral communities that are affordable, environmentally and socially sustainable.
César Ramírez de Martí, born in 1987, graduated in aeronautical engineering at Polytechnic University of Catalunya. Before college, in 2005, he worked as a trainee in several companies around the globe as part of his international training experience promoted by his father.
After graduation, he joined Cat Helicopters as an engineer and later he moved to Germany, to work for Krinner Schraubfundamente GmbH. A year later Krinner sent him to Canada to start up the American branch and afterwards he moved to UK to continue as a consultant engineer. In 2014 he decided to join the spin-off Barcelona Housing Systems to continue the family legacy.