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Best of the City: Design & Realty

BY The Editors | June 26, 2017 | Feature Features National

The temperature is not the only thing heating up in Phoenix and Scottsdale. The Valley is virtually en fuego with new to-dos, who's whos and must-tries.

Studio Ma is not your typical architectural firm in Phoenix. Their innovative designs are focused on the Japanese term “ma,” meaning a space between things. “While we love beautiful objects, we consider the space between them as equally important,” says principal architect Christiana Moss. She started the award-winning company in 2003 with her husband, Christopher Alt, and fellow architect Dan Hoffman. Their many awards include Architectural Record’s 2017 Design Vanguard firm and the AIA Arizona 2016 firm of the year. “We think about the way you move through the space and the way you actually experience that space: what you see, what you often smell... the people who are going to live there, climate and all the influences that go into making a unique architectural response,” Moss adds. The work by Moss and Studio Ma can be seen around the Valley and country, from Eden, Utah, to Manhattan. She said a lot of the work early on focused on residential, mixed-use housing and infill projects, like PRD 845 at 777 Roosevelt in Phoenix and The George at 12th Street and Missouri. “We were very involved in the beginnings of Roosevelt Row and its formation, which has really blossomed over the years,” she says. Her latest projects include Scottsdale’s Museum of the West; a new 46 unit mixed-use residential project in Tempe; additions to the Phoenix Art Museum; student life projects at Arizona State University; and an Arcadia real estate firm called The Brokery. Moss and her husband met in architecture school on the East Coast but moved to Phoenix to work in the desert southwest. They hope to expand beyond mixed-use infill educational and cultural spaces into more significant higher-educational, cultural, hospitality and custom residential projects. “We’re here in Phoenix because we view the desert, the climate and our environment as something that influences our work in a large way,” Moss says. “We believe our approach enriches people’s daily lives because it heightens their experiences of the space around them and their connection to nature, light, water, the air we breath and the plants and the animals we co-exist with.”

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