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Luis López-Baquero

Born and raised in San Juan, Puerto Rico, and trained in architecture, civil engineering

and set design; Luis López-Baquero has helmed numerous architectural projects,

primarily as Principal of Taller de Arquitectura y Urbanismo (TAU) and QVALIA, which

he founded in 1997 and 2010, respectively; and has participated in various film, theater,

and TV projects, mainly as production and/ or set designer.

Early Years. Luis started drawing at a very young age.  His art was fueled by a passion for comic books and movies.  Comic book artists like Neal Adams and Jim Aparo (both, 'Batman'), fantasy illustrator Frank Fazzetta, and concept artists Ralph McQuarrie ('Star Wars') and Syd Mead ('Blade Runner') were (and still are) strong influences.


MIT. A double major in both Art & Design and Civil Engineering at MIT (Massachusetts Institute of Technology), was complemented by a Master of Architecture degree from the same institution.  MIT's humanist take on architecture

and urban planning, at the time, was in tune with the teachings of Frank Lloyd Wright, the legendary American Architect. Two professors at MIT were particularly inspiring.  Fernando Domeyco taught how to design not only

spaces, but experiences.Jan Wampler insisted architects were essential at an urban scale as well. Under the latter's counseling, Luis worked on two urban proposals for his hometown of San Juan, Puerto Rico: an Urban Renewal Plan

for Roosevelt Avenue that was presented to then Mayor Héctor Luis Acevedo and his Thesis Proposal, "Redifining the Public Realm: A New Center for Santurce, Puerto Rico".


Government. During and immediately after the college years, Luis worked in the Planning division of both the State Historic Preservation Office (SHPO) and the Tourism Company. There, he elaborated an urban design scheme for the coastal town of Boquerón and a Tourist Development Plan for the Municipality of Utuado. As Coordinator of the Conservation Workshop, a division responsible for the preservation of the Governor’s Mansion and its immediate surroundings, he supervised all personnel, 23 workers and office employees, plus contracted services.


TAU. Founded in 1997, Taller de Arquitectura y Urbanismo (TAU) reflects Luis's interest in both architectural and urban design. Under TAU, Luis focused mainly on residential design, with numerous new constructions and renovations under his name. Other notable projects include CEVET (Centro de Veterinarios Especializados de Puerto Rico), and plans for the Hippopotamus Exhibit at Dr. Juan A. Rivero Zoo in Mayagüez, PR.


Film. Parallel to his work at TAU, and in response to his passion for films and the art of making movies, Luis was pulled into the film world. Starting as Art Director in short films, he moved on to other positions in the Art Department and onto feature films. Projects include "Replicas" (2017, Set Designer); "Wrecked , Season 1" (2016, Art Director); "Our Brand Is Crisis" (2015, Art Director); "Teen Beach Movie 2" (2014, Set Designer); "Fast Five" (2011, Set Designer); "The Condemned" (2011, Production Designer); "The Rum Diary" (2011, Set Designer); and Che Part 1: The Argentine" (2008, Concept Artist).


QVALIA. In 2006, Luis meets his design partner, Lizzie Cuello, in the production of "Che Part 1: The Argentine".  Four years later, they join forces to work on their first private project, "Il Nuovo Perugino", a 4,200 square-foot restaurant in Popular Center Building in the business district of San Juan, Puerto Rico. QVALIA was born as a multi-disciplinary design firm that blends the concrete parameters of architecture with the magical exuberance of set design.  Recent projects include the following restaurants: “Touro“, “Comedor“, “Ropa Vieja“, and  “Condal“.


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