Two studios, two generations: ten years ago, ALA represented the new and promising generation of Finnish architects, today AOR are the ones representing emergent practices.
ALA Architects have established themselves with important projects like the Kilden Performing Arts Centre in Kristiansand, in Norway or the more recent Central Library of Helsinki, in Finland (that will open its doors in December 2018 and will be one of the projects presented at the Finnish Pavillion at this year’s Venice Biennale). AOR studio has a strong research component on learning environments, explored in several projects in Finnish schools, as for example, the world’s largest timber log school in Tuusula, with 11.000 square metres.
We will get to know the specificities of both their practices, some challenges of the daily life of a studio and the strategies that they have adopted when designing and building their work.
Born in 1974, Antti Nousjoki is a Finnish Association of Architects SAFA registered architect and a founding partner of ALA Architects, the Helsinki-based firm designing the new central library in Helsinki (opening December 2018).
ALA has been one of the frontrunners of a new generation of Nordic architecture practices and has completed several major public projects, including Kilden Performing Arts Centre in Kristiansand, in Norway, and Kuopio and Lappeenranta City Theatres in Finland. Antti was the partner in charge of the Kuopio project and currently leads the Central Library and Marriott Hotel Tampere Hall projects. Prior to ALA, Antti worked, for instance, at OMA in Rotterdam.
Antti enjoys writing and is a regular contributor to both ARK The Finnish Architectural Review and the Swedish architecture and design magazine Form. In the spring of 2015, he was a visiting professor at Columbia University and at the Helsinki International Semester at the Washington University in St. Louis, together with the other ALA partners.
Born in 1986, Erkko Aarti is an architect and founding partner of Helsinki-based AOR Architects, together with Arto Ollila and Mikki Ristola. He also teaches building design in Aalto University.
AOR Architects are experienced in designing complex public buildings in demanding urban settings, as well as additions in delicate historical contexts and natural surroundings.
This studio has particular expertise in designing learning environments, for instance for the world-renowned Finnish national curriculum which includes the ongoing projects of a new open-plan school for 800 pupils in Helsinki and the world’s largest timber log school in Tuusula, both in Finland.
AOR has received numerous awards and prizes in international competitions and in Finland, including winning designs for Tampere Art Museum, Tuusula High School and Community Centre, Jtksaari School in Helsinki and Viewpoint Pavilion in London.
The design for a new visitor centre at the UNESCO World Heritage Site of Petjvesi Old Church has been awarded the Finnish Association of Architects’s Wuorio Prize as well as a Commendation in the Silver Medal Category of RIBA President’s Medals 2016.