Estela Alvarado, born and raised in Texas’s Rio Grande Valley, now home to Elon Musk’s Starbase, took an interest in architecture at a very early age. She enjoyed accompanying her father, an avid businessman, to his construction sites. Though most of these homes were merely cookie cutter houses, Estela spent countless hours immersed in the volumes of plan catalogues. At age 12 she moved to her parents’ hometown in Tampico, Mexico a coastal city in northern Mexico surrounded by a fair share of modern vernacular tropical homes.
At age 20, she moved to Monterrey to study Architecture at ITESM, otherwise known as “Tec the Monterrey”. During her third year of college, 2005, she enrolled in a study abroad program with the Universitat Politécnica de Catalunya headed by Miguel Roldán of Roldán & Berengué Architects in Barcelona, Spain, a mind-blowing experience that enriched her vision of architecture greatly. In 2007, she receives her bachelor of Architecture at ITESM and wins the Cátedra Blanca, a design workshop sponsored by CEMEX headed by the late Agustin Landa Vértiz of Landa Arquitectos (now Landa-Martínez) who would become her mentor and great friend. For the next four years she would work, teach, and exchange ideas with a wonderful group of architects who were all motivated and inspired by this architect.
In 2010, Estela decides she wants to relive the european experience and gets accepted to a Master in Collective Housing at the Universidad Politécnica de Madrid were she shares experiences with architects from Spain, Portugal, Italy, Brazil, Argentina, and Kuwait and encounters workshop leaders such as 2021 Pritzker Architecture Prize winning Anne Lacatón, Juan Herreros, Dietmar Eberle, Andrea Deplazes, Hrvoje Njiric, Edzo Bindels, and Felix Clause as well as guest lecturers such as 2016 Pritzker Architecture Prize winning Alejandro Aravena and 2001 Pritzker Prize laureates Jacques Herzog and Pierre de Meuron.
The Spanish financial crisis opens way to her new life in Miami, Florida in 2013. Estela starts off working at Ba Design Group, an interior design firm until she is commissioned to refurbish one of Morris Lapidus' apartment buildings on Collins Avenue on Miami Beach in 2016 and establishes her own practice: Archbop.