ALA is a Helsinki –based architectural firm led by three of its original four founding partners: Juho Grönholm, Antti Nousjoki and Samuli Woolston. Their collaboration started in 2004 through success in open competitions. The first prize in the open competition for the new theater and concert hall in Kristiansand, Norway (known today as Kilden Performing Arts Centre) in 2005 granted them their first big commission. In 2012 the four ALA partners received the prestigious Finnish State Prize for Architecture.
In addition to the partners ALA currently employs 37 architects, architecture students and staff members, coming from international backgrounds, organized in design teams to work closely together on specific projects. The four partners are directly involved with all aspects of the office’s design work, and take a very hands-on approach at the critical stages of each project. All team members are expected to contribute to the creative process.
ALA uses contemporary design tools such as building information modeling, 3D printing, and parametric design software. These methods are combined with the more traditional ones such as model building and materials research to find the best solution to each question. The office relies on its network of highly competent international collaborators and specialists to stimulate the exchange of up-to-date knowledge.