Photography by Bill Timmerman for Studio Ma
Studio Ma Completes Innovative Co-Working Real Estate Office
The Brokery, an innovative real estate co-working office in the heart of the desirable Arcadia neighborhood of Phoenix, recently completed construction, according to architectural firm Studio Ma, who designed the project.
The Brokery is home to a local independent real estate company focusing on the Arcadia and Biltmore areas of Phoenix. The modern and memorable building is the culmination of a four-year process which began when real estate executive Tucker Blalock purchased the vacant lot at 4546 N. 40th St., one block north of the popular grocery, café and pizzeria La Grande Orange. Blalock met Studio Ma through the recommendation of hospitality executive Bob Lynn, a connection that began the design collaboration for the building.
Together with Christopher Alt, principal and design lead for Studio Ma; principal Christiana Moss; and associates Kelly Vanyo and Brad Pfahler along, with other team members, Blalock assembled a group of area professionals for the project. Working with a team of contractors and artisans respected in their fields, the team envisaged a memorable architectural treasure for the core of its upscale residential community. For the contractor, Blalock selected Luke Wilson of Vista General Construction, a highly accomplished local builder.
The design of The Brokery was based on ideas surrounding the corner lot site including the neighborhood and sustainability, which the architect Alt and the team of Studio Ma worked on very closely with Blalock. The key element to understand is The Brokery is not just a real estate office, but a point of pride for the local community.
Studio Ma drew design inspiration for The Brokery from local landmarks including Camelback Mountain as well as the colors and textures of the desert. The use of sustainable materials was important, and all building elements were chosen for durability, beauty and performance. The exterior walls are designed as a rainscreen utilizing sustainable Kebony wood, a softwood which has been transformed to perform like the best hardwoods. Kebony is rapidly renewable material that, over time, will weather and reveal a beautiful silver-gray patina. The material is highly durable and can withstand extreme temperature changes.
The windows are also highly energy efficient and comprise thermally broken aluminum frames with dual pane, low-emissivity (low-E) insulated glazing. The ventilated roof is super-insulated and includes both fiberglass batt insulation and rigid, continuous insulation above.
The materials showcase the importance of tailoring the building to the local landscape, while at the same time creating a stellar neighborhood landmark. Viewing the building in person, one can see how the middle of the building rises and falls, suggestive of the mountains visible in the distance.
Blalock recognized early in the process the most important thing he could do to create a successful project was to build a deep, likeminded team of owner, architect and contractor. Each understood and respected his/her role in the process and recognized the importance of buildings, the physical environment and what they contribute to the sense of place.