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Alvarez-Diaz & Villalon ® Announces Partnership with Design International ® to Open Design International Americas



Leading architecture and design firms combine expertise to create a dominant new force in retail design industry

San Juan, Puerto Rico – Alvarez Diaz & Villalon® (AD&V®), leading San Juan-based architecture and interior design practice, announces the partnership with London-based global architecture firm, Design International®. With offices in San Juan, Puerto Rico, and Miami, Florida, the new venture will be known as Design International Americas and will be led by Ricardo Álvarez-Díaz and Cristina Villalón, principals of AD&V.

The partnership will combine the expertise of two leading architectural firms, integrating AD&V’s retail store design expertise with Design International’s architectural design capabilities. It also marks Design International’s re-entry into the American market in response to increasing demand in the Americas for its innovative and highly successful retail architecture, which has long made the firm a household name in Europe, the Middle East and Asia. Design International Americas will begin its operations immediately.

“The partnership represents a great fit for both companies,” said Ricardo Álvarez-Díaz, “In Design International we found a like-minded partner with an outstanding design vision and capabilities to expand our international reach.”

“We are delighted to welcome Ricardo and Cristina, who absolutely share our creative vision, as full partners,” said Davide Padoa, CEO of Design International, “We believe this partnership will aid in bringing back our reputation as an industry leader and innovator in North America, where we began almost 50 years ago in Toronto. Their expertise and impressive growth in the Latin American market will also help us engage with a region where we have strong cultural affinities.”

Alvarez-Diaz & Villalon® and Design International® are currently collaborating on the development of the first department store brand for global fashion and retail conglomerate, The Apparel Group. The prototype store will open in 2015 in the new Al Khuwair “The Avenues” Mall in Muscat, Oman. 25 more stores across the Middle East and India are projected to open over the next 5 years.


About Alvarez-Diaz & Villalon

Spearheaded by the award‐winning husband‐and‐wife team of architect Ricardo Alvarez‐Díaz and interior designer Cristina Villalón – Alvarez‐Diaz & Villalon® has become one of the most innovative architecture and interior design firms in Latin America. With offices in San Juan and Miami, the firm has garnered national attention for their unique holistic approach, forging a reputation in design that is both environmentally responsible and richly appealing to the senses. Founded in 2001, the firm’s wide-ranging portfolio includes retail, institutional, commercial, and residential work with a commonality of purpose: to translate a client’s individuality into impeccable design.

Behind the couple’s decade-long success in their native Puerto Rico is a rock-solid foundation of stateside credentials.  Álvarez‐Díaz began his career working in New York for famed architect and educator Robert A.M. Stern and received his Bachelor of Architecture degree from the University of Notre Dame. Villalón holds a Master of Science degree in Interior Design from Pratt Institute with postgraduate training at the Royal Academy in Copenhagen, Denmark.

About Design International

Design International® is a leading globally-based architectural practice. Founded in Toronto in 1965, the company soon developed into a major international player as one of the first companies that truly worked on a global scale. With almost 50 years of award-winning history and offices in London, Milan, Shanghai and Jakarta, the firm is responsible for over 100,000,000 square feet of built world class architecture. Design International has worked in almost every corner of the globe and on projects of every imaginable size.




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