ALA is a Helsinki-based architectural firm led today by three of the firm's original four founders: Juho Grönholm, Antti Nousjoki and Samuli Woolston. The first prize in the open international competition for the new theater and concert hall in Kristiansand, Norway in 2005 granted them their first commission. In 2012 the ALA partners received the Finnish State Prize for Architecture.
ALA is today led by Grönholm, Nousjoki and Woolston and in addition to them employs 38 architects, interior architects, students and staff members, coming from international backgrounds. The partners are directly involved in all aspects of the office’s design work. All team members are also expected to contribute to the creative process. The office regularly collaborates with its international network of highly competent specialists.
ALA is committed to seeking fresh angles and surprising solutions on all levels of architecture. The architects trust in beauty achieved by combining the intuitive with the analytic, the practical with the extravagant, and the rational with the irrational.
The most remarkable of ALA’s realized projects is the above-mentioned Kilden Performing Arts Centre in Norway, opened in January 2012. The building contains a 1200-seat concert hall, a 700-seat theater and opera hall, and two smaller performance spaces. ALA managed to execute the project according to the original design and within the given timeframe and budget. It has been widely published, and has received numerous awards and nominations.
ALA’s current projects include three subway stations along the western extension of the Helsinki metro line, the new Helsinki Central Library, the renovation of the Finnish Embassy in New Delhi, and the expansion of the Helsinki Airport. The new City Theatre in Lappeenranta, two metro stations in Espoo, and the renovation of Dipoli Student Centre to function as the Main Building of Aalto University are ALA's most recent completed projects.