The architecture of diplomacy balances security and openness. As symbols of protection and representation, embassies are built for utility in both urban and rural contexts alike. At their core, they are also made to communicate the values and ideals of nations as welcoming structures and sustainable civic spaces. Today, modern embassy projects are made to meet rigorous security standards while embracing local culture and conditions.
Ala Architects: The Latest Architecture and News
Finnish practice ALA Architects has won the competition to design the new Learning Center of Université Lumière Lyon II in France. The project will be the second major library building by the office behind the recently opened Helsinki Central Library Oodi, and it will be ALA's first French commission. The building will replace the existing library and showcase sustainable construction alongside new teaching and study methods.
It is rare for a father and son to share the same birthday. Even rarer is it for such a duo to work in the same profession; rarer still for them both to achieve international success in their respective careers. This, however, is the story of Eliel and Eero Saarinen, the Finnish-American architects whose combined portfolio tells of the development of modernist architectural thought in the United States. From Eliel’s Art Nouveau-inspired Finnish buildings and modernist urban planning to Eero’s International Style offices and neo-futurist structures, the father-son duo produced a matchless body of work culminating in two individual AIA Gold Medals.
ALA Architects' Central Library Oodi and JKMM's Amos Anderson Art Museum Near Completion in Helsinki
The Helsinki Central Library Oodi, designed by ALA Architects, is nearing completion in Finland. Due to open its doors on December 3rd 2018, the library is situated in the cultural district of Töölönlahti, where it will sit as a ”powerful and iconic temporary design” among other architectural landmarks.
Situated across from the Finnish Parliament House, the scheme represents an interaction between the state and its citizens, “a new avenue to promote freedom of speech and democracy.”
Have you ever spent hours calibrating the nozzle of a 3D printer or preparing a print-ready file – only to find that the model has failed because of a missed zero-thickness wall? With this in mind, the Platonics Ark—a 3D printer currently being developed in Helsinki, Finland—has one simple goal: to remove all unnecessary set-up and technical processes by means of intelligent automation and, as a result, almost entirely eliminate the wasted time that architects and designers spend calibrating printers, or working up print-ready files.
The team consisting of ALA Architects, HKP Architects and Ramboll Finland has won an invited competition for the renovation and expansion of Helsinki Airport’s Terminal 2 with their entry titled “City Hall.” Organized by Finnish airport operator Finavia, the competition asked four international firms to create a new airport plan centered around a reenvisioned terminal that will allow the airport to efficiently serve up to 20 million passengers per year.
We’ve all reached that point in a stressful project where you need to take a step back and take a breather before refocusing on the task at hand – for many, this process can be aided by the liquid motivation of a nice, cold beer.
Identifying this uncanny connection, Finnish firm ALA Architects has just released their very own craft beer, cheekily titled “Revision Cloud Architectural Pale Ale” in a nod to both the unfiltered quality of the drink and the very CAD element that often causes the need for a cold one in the first place.
The city of Copenhagen have announced the shortlist of 5 firms that will compete for the design of a new aquatics center to be located on a prominent site in the Copenhagen Harbor. Planned for completion in 2021, the project will feature a 5,000-square-meter facility offering both indoor and outdoor swimming areas with views across the water to the Henning Larsen-designed Copenhagen Opera House.
The Finnish Association of Architects (SAFA) have announced a shortlist of 4 projects in contention for the Finlandia Prize for Architecture 2016. Now in its third year, the prize continues with the goal to “increase public awareness of high quality Finnish architecture and [to highlight] its benefits for our well-being.”
Following the tradition of the award, while the shortlist was selected by a panel of architects, the final winning project will be chosen by a non-architect. This year, former Prime Minister of Finland Paavo Lipponen will have the honor of picking the winner.
Find out more about the 4 projects after the break.
Look Inside a Selection of Danish, Finnish, Norwegian and Swedish Architecture Offices, Photographed by Marc Goodwin
Architectural photographer Marc Goodwin has recently completed "the ultra-marathon of photoshoots:" twenty-eight architectural offices in twenty-eight days, spread across four capital cities – Oslo, Stockholm, Copenhagen, and Helsinki. His aim was to understand what sort of spaces architects in the Nordic countries operate in, and how they differ between each respective country. From former boathouses to stables and coal deposits, Goodwin has captured some of the most unique working environments the profession has to offer.
Nine Projects to be Highlighted in 'In Therapy', the Nordic Contribution to the 2016 Venice Biennale
The Swedish Centre for Architecture and Design (ArkDes) have revealed that In Therapy: Nordic Countries Face to Face—the exhibition for the Nordic Pavilion at the 2016 Venice Biennale, curated by David Basulto—will partly comprise "a contemporary survey of Nordic architecture." 300 projects, drawn from over 500 submissions to a recent open call, will be complemented by an in-depth study of nine projects completed post-2008 by practices including Tham & Videgård, Reiulf Ramstad Arkitekter, and Lahdelma & Mahlamäki.
"Just as Sverre Fehn’s pavilion is a crystallisation of Nordic architecture—embodying a precise and fluid articulation of structure, light, and nature—the nine we have chosen to focus in on as particularly representative of the contemporary scene have a similar gravitas and complexity – but with their own distinct identities" says Basulto, who has made the selection alongside James Taylor-Foster, Assistant Curator.
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.”
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.
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