Co-Founder & CEO
Arq. Ricardo Álvarez-Díaz, AIA, NCARB, CAAPPR
“When design goes from good to great, suddenly the creator becomes invisible.”
– Ricardo Álvarez-Díaz
Ricardo Álvarez‐Díaz is the founder and principal of Álvarez-Díaz & Villalón® | Architecture & Interior Design: a leading architectural and interior design firm, headquartered in San Juan, Puerto Rico with offices in Miami, Florida. Over its fifteen-year history, this dynamic firm, has performed work in the United States, Central America, South America and the Middle East.
Álvarez‐Díaz began his career working in New York for famed architect and educator Robert A.M. Stern and studied architecture in Italy and the United States, where he received his Professional Bachelor of Architecture degree from The University of Notre Dame, in Indiana.
In 2017 he was chosen as one of the Top Executive for the Caribbean Business Power 100. In 2016 Álvarez‐Díaz was named one of the Top 15 Architects in Miami by Builddirect.com and in 2012 as one of the Top 40 Under 40 by Caribbean Business, the leading financial publication for the Caribbean Basin area.
Álvarez‐Díaz is a prolific author and has been published in a variety of leading industry publications. In 2017, he coauthored the firm’s first monograph called Places of Purpose, which features the firm’s work over its fifteen-year history. He also served as former section editor for the Institute of Classical Architecture’s annual magazine The Classicist. He and his firm have been featured in numerous books, newspapers, magazines, and television, both stateside and abroad, including, Architect, Interior Design, Affordable Housing Finance, Retail Middle East, Nexus, Bloomberg, VMSD, Ocean Drive, Interiors and Sources, Retail: Design, Green Building & Design, Fox news, CNN, among others.
He is also a professor at both the Polytechnic University of Puerto Rico and the University of Puerto Rico-Rio Piedras Campus, and frequents lectures, both stateside and on the island, on contemporary architectural and design topics, and in particular, issues in community planning, productivity, sustainability and resilient design.
From 2015 through 2017, Álvarez-Díaz served as the President of Puerto Rico Home Builders Association: marking the first time in the organization’s sixty-six-year history that a licensed architect has been named to this prestigious position. In 2016, he was nominated by the National Association of Home Builders as a Region B finalist for the 2016 Young Professional Award, marking the first time in the award’s history that a Puerto Rican has been nominated for this award.
In 2017, Álvarez-Díaz was named by the Governor of Puerto Rico as a member of the board of directors of Invest Puerto Rico, an organization responsible for marketing the island as a destination to bring investment and new business. He currently serves as a member of the Governor’s Construction and Housing Advisory Committee and in 2017 was appointed by the Secretary of State as a liaison between the private sector and the Federal Government (FEMA) on issues on critical infrastructure, construction and housing. In 2018, he was also named by the Governor of Puerto Rico as a member of the Board of Directors of the ENLACE Project Corporation of the Caño Martín Peña.
As an expert in housing issues, Álvarez-Díaz has been actively involved on major council boards and advisory panels. He has served as a consultant to Puerto Rico’s Department of Housing as well as several Municipalities on issues of affordable housing development, community redevelopment, mix finance and planning. He serves as one of the key stakeholders for the resilient design guidelines in the development of multifamily and single-family housing for Enterprise Communities, Inc. He is a commissioner for the Executive Committee for the ReImagina Puerto Rico Report, an initiative together with 100 Resilient Cities and the Rockefeller Foundation and as one of the founders and collaborators of ResilientSee, a global alliance committed to designing and rebuilding a resilient, sustainable Puerto Rico.
He is the founding Co-Chair of the Local Urban Land Institute (ULI) district council. In 2015, he served as the Board of Trustees President for the Puerto Rico Foundation for Architecture. He is a member of the Young Presidents Organization (YPO) and was a member of the Board of Trustees of the Habitat for Humanity. Álvarez‐Díaz has been actively involved on major council boards and advisory panels at various renowned institutions, both in the United States and Puerto Rico, including Guayacán Endowment Fund, Foundation for Puerto Rico, Museo de Arte de Ponce, Juntos por Puerto Rico, Saint John’s School, and the PR Center for Social Concerns.
In partnership with his wife, he cosponsors the Álvarez-Díaz & Villalón Fund at the University of Notre Dame. Annually, the fund bestows a summer internship prize, plus two student scholarship awards; at both the undergraduate and graduate levels within the School of Architecture for outstanding leadership and sustainability in design.
Álvarez-Díaz is licensed to practice architecture in Florida, New York and Puerto Rico.