Ricardo Álvarez-Díaz, FAIA, NCARB, CAAPPR
CO-FOUNDER & CEO | PARTNER
“When design goes from good to great,
suddenly the creator becomes invisible.”
Ricardo Álvarez-Díaz is the Co-founder and CEO of Álvarez-Díaz & Villalón® | Architecture & Interior Design. Recently chosen as one of the Best 300 Architecture firms in the US by Architectural Record, his firm has been recognized with numerous local and international design awards for its work in the United States, Central America, South America, and the Middle East.
Álvarez-Díaz began his professional career in New York, working for the renowned architect Robert A.M. Stern. He studied in Italy and the United States at the University of Notre Dame’s School of Architecture and studied Finance and Real Estate at Harvard University’s Graduate School of Design. In 2022, the architect was elevated as a member of the American Institute of Architects College of Fellows, distinguished for his contributions to architecture and society.
He has taught at the School of Architecture of the University of Puerto Rico and the Polytechnic University of Puerto Rico and has lectured in the United States, England, Mexico, Cuba, the Dominican Republic, and Puerto Rico on architecture, entrepreneurship, and urban design issues. In addition, he has contributed to several outlets including Rolling Stone, The Wall Street Journal, The New York Times, CNN, Fox News, Architecture Magazine, The Architect Newspaper, Nexus, Bloomberg, Ocean Drive, Interiors and Sources, Green Building & Design, Interior Design, and NBC among others.
Álvarez-Díaz is also an author and editor. He served as a section editor in New York for The Classicist Journal, and in 2017, published the firm's first monograph called Places of Purpose. The architect is currently working on two books "Thrive, Survive or Be Extinct: The Architect as Entrepreneur", and “Santurce: The Trolley City” both of which will be published in 2023.
As an expert on design and construction issues, Álvarez-Díaz has actively participated in several boards and advisory panels. He co-led the team that developed the resilient design guides for multifamily and single-family housing development for Puerto Rico in collaboration with Enterprise Communities. He is also a commissioner of the ReImagina Puerto Rico Report, in collaboration with CNE, 100 Resilient Cities, and the Rockefeller Foundation; and is one of the co-founders and collaborators of ResilientSee, a global alliance committed to the design and reconstruction of a resilient and sustainable Puerto Rico. Most recently, Ricardo was appointed a member of the MHN (Multi-Housing News) Executive Council, where he exchanges ideas and provides meaningful solutions and awareness on insightful topics relating to trending multifamily concerns.
From 2015 to 2017 he served as the President of the Builders Association of Puerto Rico. In 2017, Álvarez-Díaz was appointed by the Governor of Puerto Rico as a member of the board of directors of Invest Puerto Rico, as well as chair of the Governor’s Construction and Housing Advisory Committee. In 2017, he was appointed by the PR Secretary of State as a liaison between the private sector and the Federal Government (FEMA) on critical infrastructure, construction, and housing issues. In 2018, he was also appointed by the Governor of Puerto Rico as a member of the Board of Directors of the ENLACE Project Corporation of the Caño Martín Peña. In 2020 he was appointed as a member of the board of advisors at The University of Notre Dame’s Fitzgerald Institute for Real Estate, an organization dedicated to educating and inspiring the next generation of real estate professionals. In 2015, he served as Chair of the Board of Trustees of the Foundation for Architecture of Puerto Rico.
Álvarez-Díaz also currently serves as founder and co-chair of the local chapter of the Urban Land Institute (ULI) and as a ULI Governor. He served as Local Chair of the Young Presidents Organization (YPO) and has participated in several institutions both in the United States and in Puerto Rico, including Habitat for Humanity, Guayacán Endowment Fund, Foundation for Puerto Rico, Ponce Art Museum, Protechos, Juntos por Puerto Rico, Saint John’s School and PR Center for Social Concerns.
Álvarez-Díaz is licensed to practice architecture in Florida, Indiana, New York, Texas, U.S. Virgin Islands and Puerto Rico.