The Brokery is home to a local, independent real estate company focusing on the Arcadia and Biltmore areas of Phoenix. Their 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 the architectural firm Studio Ma through the recommendation of hospitality executive Bob Lynn, a connection that began the design collaboration for a highly innovative new headquarters building.
Together with the design expertise of Christopher Alt, principal and design lead for Studio Ma, the firm’s 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 thermally modified wood, a domestically sourced and rapidly renewable material that, over time, will age and reveal a beautiful patina. The material is high-performance 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 their roles in the process and recognized the importance of buildings, the physical environment and what they contribute to the sense of place.