Studio Ma designs energy-efficient townhomes in Phoenix’s Arcadia neighborhood

Independent Newsmedia
Posted 8/31/20

Architect firm Studio Ma has designed a new housing development in Phoenix called The Hollyhock, which aims to be more sustainable and carry higher density.

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Studio Ma designs energy-efficient townhomes in Phoenix’s Arcadia neighborhood


Architect firm Studio Ma has designed a new housing development in Phoenix called The Hollyhock, which aims to be more sustainable and carry higher density.

The new collection of 11 townhouses connected by courtyards is a multifamily housing development in the Arcadia neighborhood of Phoenix.

The one- and two-story living units are organized around private gardens, walkways and a community commons. The buildings occupy a footprint of just under 13,000 square feet and are constructed with an economical approach that hopes to make the homes attainable for many area residents.

The Hollyhock also debuts several sustainable building techniques. The project, a press release claims, also embodies one of Studio Ma’s core values, “leadership through partnership,” by drawing on collaboration with general contractor The Construction Zone on behalf of the developer, Hollyhock LLC.

“Together, the team pledged to create a unique rental offering of exceptionally high value, incorporating market leading aesthetics, functionality and performance for this long-term family investment,” architect Christopher Alt, a founding principal of Studio Ma, said in a prepared statement. “Central to the concept are sophisticated architectural details and quality rarely seen in apartments in any market.”

Marianne Cracchiolo-Mago, partner of Hollyhock Apartments, said her brother and her are from Arizona and wanted to “create a sense of community with our property on Hollyhock Street.”

“The elevated urban design, character and environment achieved by Studio Ma creates a small ‘village’ aesthetic while masterfully prioritizing privacy, views, and open floorplans,” she said in a prepared statement.

“We could not be happier, the results are stunning, and the design maximized the property’s potential.”

In terms of sustainability, the new residential buildings are designed for insulation, energy efficiency and low water use.

Architects tried to design to homes to take advantage of the region’s sunlight and prevailing breezes to boost comfort and reduce operating costs, a release states.

The material palette includes low-emissivity glass, insulated faux stucco, galvanized metal, natural woods and cooling and exposed concrete floors.

The long lifespan palette is economical and environmentally sound, architects claim, and the natural woods and metals reduce carbon emissions associated with typical construction.

According to Mr. Alt, the landscaping is predominantly xeriscape, requiring little irrigation. A new parking shade canopy is designed for the future addition of solar photovoltaic panels, with charging stations for electric vehicles.

The Hollyhock also adopts principles of the Living Building Challenge standard, such as valuable quality-of-life features including water filtration to remove calcium and provide better drinking water for residents and protect plumbing fixtures.

These approaches — and The Hollyhock’s neighborhood scale — are also seen in other area architecture by Studio Ma, including commercial office headquarters such as The Brokery, TMK Law, and Xero Studio.

“We are very gratified to see the embrace of the development team’s strong vision for Phoenix that combines modern, elegant surroundings and a sense of close-knit community with an effective investment in environmentally sensitive, resilient architecture,” architect Christiana Moss said in a prepared statement.

“We’re finding more interest in these approaches for both low-rise and high-rise mixed-use residential complexes that deliver attainable housing prices and lower-cost operations.”