Chamberlin + Associates Restoring Al Beadle Building for Its HQ

by Mike Hunter

Chamberlin + Associates Real Estate Management has purchased the 21,000-square-foot office building at 500 E. Thomas Road, originally designed by Phoenix modernist master Al Beadle, to serve as its future corporate headquarters as it continues to grow in Arizona and other Southwestern states.

Maintaining the original design of Beadle while bringing an open and inviting workspace, the renovation project led by Phoenix design firm Kaiserworks aims to pay homage to Beadle by restoring the building to a place of architectural prominence within the Central Avenue corridor while updating its ground floor, landscape and interiors to reflect contemporary design and business practices. Phoenix-based Restoration Rewind will lead the construction on the project.

Completed in 1970, the original building featured several hallmarks of architectural modernism such as, most of the first-floor area reserved for automobile parking, giving the building the appearance of floating above the ground. The two main floors, placed at the second and third levels, respectively, provided areas of open, naturally lit office space wrapped around a compact circulation core. In keeping with modernist sensibilities, the pragmatic, column-and-slab building structure telegraphed directly to the building facade as an unbroken, unvaried grid of vertical, floor-to-ceiling windows.

Kaiserworks and Chamberlin + Associates have reimagined the first floor as a miniature metropolis: a new layered and densely programmed zone filled with connection, activity and visual interest. The building’s flat, modernist roof will serve as a solar array, anticipated to offset approximately 60% of the building’s power consumption. In an effort to further soften the ground plane and reduce its contribution to heat-island effects, the design team has systematically replaced hardscape and asphalt with landscape and permeable pavers. In a performance upgrade to one of the building’s most important features, the original, single-pane, floor-to-ceiling windows will be replaced with state-of-the-art, thinsulate-filmed, double-glazed panes, reducing overall energy consumption while preserving Beadle’s vision of a light-filled, working interior.

Photo courtesy CapRock Partners

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