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About Us and Contact Info -
United Architects, Inc.

Read about the firm and its
principal below

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Florida Licensed Architect No. AR0007706

A proud board member of:

SMASH (Struggle for Miami's Affordable and Sustainable Housing), a

non-profit dedicated to creating safe housing for


Call 305-552-5465, If you have a question or would like to discuss your project.  There is no charge for the initial consultation, if you own the property and would like to discuss the project you envision in detail.

Read our Real Estate Blog on issues that are of interest to investors and other Realtors.

See more on real estate services by clicking here





Writer, activist, professor, Realtor and Architect, Maria Luisa Castellanos, R.A., LEED AP, has been fortunate to have had wonderful clients for over 30 years through her firm, United Architects, Inc. Her clients usually have something in common; they want to improve their lives through better-functioning buildings and residences.


Residential Projects

On private residential projects, Ms. Castellanos has worked enthusiastically to improve the design of residences or designed new residences altogether, thereby creating an enhanced lifestyle for her clients. Ms. Castellanos develops a strong team atmosphere with her clients, colleagues, and consulting engineers, and stays involved, hands-on, through all phases of the design and construction of her projects. Her strong leadership skills have turned ideas into very successful projects.  Two of her projects were featured on HGTV.

Commercial Projects

On commercial and institutional projects, she has zeroed in on what are the most important issues or challenges confronting a client/developer, school board staff, or a client contemplating an office building to give these the most cost-effective and practical design solutions. Over the years, Ms. Castellanos has developed strong listening skills and is able to put aside her own preferences, in order to work closely with the clients to achieve their goals.  This is of the utmost importance to her - that you, the client, feel your goals have been achieved!

History & Credentials

Ms. Castellanos’ interest in architecture started in high school when she lived in the small town of Macon, Georgia. On Sundays, accompanied by her mother and her sister, she would visit model homes. When she was given the floor plans for a particular house, she would imagine what she would do differently to improve them. Later, her interest in architecture was cemented while pursuing a degree in architecture at Georgia Tech, eventually obtaining a Master of Architecture. While still pursuing her degree, she had the opportunity to participate in a student internship in Barcelona, Spain, where she worked for an architectural office and experienced how other countries practice architecture.

Maria Luisa Castellanos is almost a product of Miami-Dade County. Although born in Cuba, she lived her childhood in different places throughout the eastern United States. However, every year she would vacation in Miami Beach or Key Biscayne with her parents and sister. She watched Miami grow into the international, multi-cultural, multi-lingual metropolis it is today, where people from all over the world come to live and play.

Before founding United Architects in 1986, she worked for several local architecture firms where she was in charge of projects in the Miami area as well as in Saudi Arabia, Fiji, and Costa Rica. After several years, she became a partner in the firm of Alligator Construction Corporation. Holding a general contractor’s license, and working in the field as a contractor for 5 years, offered Ms. Castellanos invaluable experience. Now when she works out the details for a project, she first works them out in her head as though she were building the project, to make sure the details are actually buildable and practical. Because her drawings are well-detailed, the contractors with whom she works today do not have to waste time trying to decide the best way to build something. In the end, this saves the client money.


Because United Architects is not a large firm, the client is guaranteed direct principal involvement in all aspects of his/her project.

Besides being a registered architect, Ms. Castellanos is a licensed Realtor.  She holds a license as a Florida State Certified General Contractor (inactive status).  See more on real estate services by clicking here.  Read our Architecture and Real Estate Blog.


Ms. Castellanos was recognized in 2003 by Georgia Tech, at its 50th anniversary of admitting women to the institution, as the first minority woman to receive a Master of Architecture degree from the College of Architecture. She has been a guest on the radio show, Topical Currents on WLRN and National Public Radio (NPR), and a guest speaker

at a Miami Dade College forum on affordable housing. 

Community Activities

Among her community activities, Ms. Castellanos served on the Miami-Dade County Court Capital Infrastructure Task Force.  She was a founding director of the Association of Women Architects and Engineers (AWAE) and serves as the forum's chair for the Miami Chapter of the ACLU for many years.  She is a former member of the Board of Directors of SMASH (Struggle for Miami's Affordable and Sustainable Housing) a non-profit organization whose mission is to build affordable housing.  She is now working pro-bono on a duplex for them that will be rented out to people who need affordable housing.


She is an adjunct professor of architecture at Miami Dade College.


With an exciting track record of executing world-class projects for both public and private clients, United Architects has been in continuous operation since its founding in 1986.  Please look at the testimonials or letters of reference recommending the firm.  The corporate license number is below.

To ensure a commitment to excellence second to none, the firm has developed the following 10-Point Project Management Checklist.  It will curtail errors in the plans and reduce change orders in the field. Construction is difficult enough and the client shouldn't have to worry about costly errors in the construction of the project.

We have been recognized by several organizations for our work:, Home Builder Digest, and

Our work appears throughout this entire website. Some pages give background on the city and county in which we reside. Others give information on the architectural design and construction process. We hope you find it interesting, engaging, and useful to you. 

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Bronze Winner of Miami
Herald's Miami-Dade Favorites

We just won third place in the Miami-Dade Favorites Competition in the Remodeling/Contractor Category.

We were the only architecture firm honored.


Call 305-552-5465 or email to discuss your exciting project ideas.

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