Roney Mateu — the habitation behind ‘modern architecture’

Roney Mateu — the habitation behind ‘modern architecture’

Architect Roney Mateu

Miami’s “starchitect” Mateu Architecture has been selected “Firm of the Year” by the Florida Association of The American Institute of Architects.

As I sat down with Roney Mateu at Joanna’s Market in South Miami, I realized that his works are not one-dimensional drawings on paper to him, they are works of art. With numerous awards and accolades under his smile, he sat there sporting round mustard-yellow eyeglass frames and told me stories of his completed works and inspirations.

He said he was inspired by Villa Savoye, a modernist villa on the outskirts of Paris, built between 1928 and 1931 using reinforced concrete by Le Corbusier, a Swiss- French architect, designer, painter, urban planner, writer, and one of the pioneers of what is now called modern architecture.

Having just returned from Europe where he recharged his inspiration, I listened as Mateu talked about some of his work. I measured them to composers, choreographers and dancers working together in renowned ballets and musicals on stage. As Mateu works with developers, contractors and clients, his work is visioned from the raw land, his architectural drawings, client needs and his finalized product.

What does the land offer and the use of the surrounding foliage. Can light “dance” throughout the day inside the home to his given design.

He is on site nailing nails, (he has smashed a few thumbs) and he enjoys all the people it takes, embracing them as a vital component to make each project “right the first time.”

The first home Mateu built while still attending the University Miami school architecture is located off Old Cutler and 165th Street. First he spoke of the Oak trees in front and the one tree he left rising through the middle of the home. Mateu’s portfolio also consists of the Palmetto Elementary School media center, Coral Reef Senior High and currently two new homes to be built in Pinecrest.

I revealed to his surprise that I, too, have also had the pleasure of living in a home he built in the late ‘80s on Park Avenue in Coconut Grove.

To understand your neighbor more and discover his works and vision, go to or contact me for a personal introduction.


Roney Mateu — the habitation behind ‘modern architecture’

Dr. Jim Jennings

Dr. Jim Jennings took over the original Walk In Family Medicine Center in 1996 and moved it to its present location in 1998 in the Pinecrest Town Center at US 1 and SW 128 Street. He and his family live close by.

“Our location is convenient for our patients, with the availability of same-day, walk-in service,” he told me. “We are presently the only walk-in, primary-care office in Pinecrest. And I am on staff at Baptist Hospital as well as a voluntary professor of family medicine at the University of Miami Family Medicine Residency Program. “We have lived in the Pinecrest area for 23 years and our children have all gone to local schools. What we enjoy most about living in Pinecrest is the feeling of open spaces, quiet streets, a diversity of neighbors from all over the world and that everything we enjoy and need is nearby.

We have two large shopping malls, great restaurants and pubs, the kids can play in the street and everyone watches out for each other. We love to boat and fish so it’s great having two marinas only minutes away, as well as the Keys.

“And we have some of the best medical facilities in Jackson South and Baptist Hospital located very close. So working and living here only makes good sense.”

It seems a new storm always develops right around the time school starts.

Core Logic reported in the 2014 Storm Surge Report that Florida ranks number one for the highest number of homes at risk for storm surge damage. While predictions are pointing to lower-than-normal storm activity for 2014, homeowners that may incur damage and want to file a claim should consider the following:

• Call your insurance representative immediately and discuss your policy. Ask in their professional opinion if this is a covered loss or not; if not, then why? Remember the field adjuster is the person that represents the insurance company and is the eyes and ears for the carrier.

• Explain in great detail when they visit what caused the loss; the cause of the loss is crucial. For example, if you have a broken pipe in the kitchen floor slab, most likely the insurance company will not cover the actual repair of the pipe, but they will cover the cost minus your deductible to access the pipe and replace any floors, cabinets, etc. in order to put your home back in its original state. A claim can be significant if you have a rare floor that is continuous throughout your home. Remember, you get more bees with honey than you do with vinegar.

June Savage is a Realtor associate in the Coral Gables office of ONE Sotheby’s International Realty, 1430 S. Dixie Hwy. She may be reached by email at> or by calling 305- 666-0562.

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