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New Images Take You Inside ALA’s Helsinki Central Library

Take a tour inside ALA Architect’s Helsinki Central Library with a new animation and set of images revealing the project’s spacious interiors. The project, which was awarded to ALA through an international competition, boasts a unique set of programs, such as a ground floor cinema, second story sauna, “Nerd Attic” and dreamy “Book Heaven” that is topped with a cloud-like undulating roof and includes a distinctive outdoor “Citizens’ Balcony.” 

Ground Floor Lobby. Image © ALA Architects Middle Floor "Living Lab". Image © ALA Architects Top Floor "Book Heaven". Image © ALA Architects Top Floor "Citizen's Balcony". Image © ALA Architects

Venice Biennale 2012: Finnish Pavilion presents “New Forms in Wood”

Kilden Performing Arts Centre; Kristiansand, Norway / ALA Architects  © Ivan Baan
Kilden Performing Arts Centre; Kristiansand, Norway / ALA Architects © Ivan Baan

Wood has always been Finland’s preferred building material, as both nature and the forest has long provided a livelihood and enduring source of inspiration for Finnish artists and architects. Now, with the use of modern technology and new treatment methods, Finnish architects are pushing the boundaries of this conventional material to unleash new creative potential. To celebrate the reopening of the newly restored, Alvar Aalto-designed Finnish pavilion at the 2012 Venice Biennale, “New Forms in Wood” will highlight the work of young Finnish architects who have used wood inventively in their recent works. Continue after the break to review the exhibition’s featured projects and architects.

Tampere Glass Pavillion / ALA Architects

© Courtesy of ALA Architects
© Courtesy of ALA Architects

ALA Architects has proposed to plant a Magnolia tree for Tampere. An intelligent glass dome will provide this tree with a more southern climate, complete with ventilation, shading and lighting. The air exhaust of the parking garage will provide additional heating during the cold, dark months. This dome will have its own microclimate fine-tuned using the technical abilities provided by its glazed surface. The Magnolia will be nurtured to burst into a magnificent bright pink blossom by the first of May annually. Its strong perfumed scent will fill the pavilion, on some spring days the scent might even flow down to the parking garage.

Cloud City / ALA Architects

Courtesy ALA Architects
Courtesy ALA Architects

Finnish design team, ALA Architects has shared with us their latest commission, a mixed use project in Helsinki, Cloud City. Seeking to take advantage of available space within the urban core, this unique project brings density to a underutilized courtyard within a large existing factory block. Additional images, including a full set of detailed floor plans and a description by the architects after the break.

In Progress: Kilden / ALA Architects

© ALA Architects
© ALA Architects

Architects: ALA Architetcs Location: Kristiansand, Norway Project team: Juho Grönholm, Antti Nousjoki, Janne Teräsvirta, Samuli Woolston and Birger Grönholm with Niklas Mahlberg, Pekka Sivula, Pauliina Rossi, Pauliina Skyttä, Sami Mikonheimo, Jani Koivula,Auvo Lindroos, Aleksi Niemeläinen, Erling Sommerfeldt, Ingrid Kokkonen, Tomi Henttinen, Harri Ahokas, Anniina Koskela Klaus Stolt Collaborators: SMS Arkitekter AS: Erik Sandsmark, Wenche Aabel, Lasse Stamrud, Hanne Alnes (local partner) WSP Multiconsult AS (structural engineering) Arup Acoustics (hall acoustics) Brekke Strand Acoustics (room acoustics) Sweco Grøner (mechanical engineering) Cowi (electrical engineering) TPC (theater technical engineering) Client: Teater og Konserthus for Sørlandet IKS Project area: 24,000 sqm Project year: In construction Photographs: Courtesy of ALA Architects