Kilden wins Architizer A+ Jury Award

Kilden has been selected the recipient of the jury award among the five finalists in the Theaters & Performing Arts Centers category in the 2014 Architizer A+ Awards. The winners were announced on April 1st and the awards gala will be held in New York on May 15th.

The A+ Awards included more than 60 categories and received entries from 100 countries. Winners were chosen by the more than 300-people strong jury including such industry luminaries as Charles Renfro, Bjarke Ingels and Tom Kundig, as well as people from beyond architecture like Barry Bergdoll of MoMA. Selection for recognition was based on excellence in


Our @Architizer A+ Award for @KildenKrs arrived while we were on our summer break. It is a bit spooky & a lot cool.

Our @Architizer A+ Award for @KildenKrs arrived while we were on our summer break. It is a bit spooky & a lot cool.

West Harbour Masterplan

Helsinki's rapidly growing West Harbour caters for passenger traffic to Tallinn and St. Petersburg. Cargo harbor functions were relocated from the area in 2008 to allow for a new residential area to be built. The urban regeneration project aims to restore the connection between the port and the city. By the completion of the project in 2030 the annual ferry passenger amount will have reached 10 million, 22,000 new residents will have moved to the area and 10,000 new jobs created next to the port. The passenger port with hotel and retail functions connecting the old and new terminals will act as the area's lively center.

A buffer zone with business premises and leisure activities will be created between the port and the residential area to downsize the environmental impact of port activities. The project aims to shorten both the mental and physical distance, between Helsinki, Tallinn and St. Petersburg, the port and the city center, as well as the port and the residential areas. A functioning passenger port in the city center with effective public transport options and a wide selection of services benefits both tourists and local residents.

ALA received 1st prize in an invited competition in fall 2012 and has since been developing the concept for the new passenger terminal, its adjacent functions and the harbor master plan. The program consists of one long building mass: The new terminal building extends into commercial services capped by a tall hotel extending further into a parking building and finally the existing terminal building. At the northern end of the pier, two new office buildings frame the approach to the terminal. Moving southward, the harbor boulevard gradually rises up to 1st floor level taking drop off traffic and trams to the main entrance. The traffic to and from the ferries remains at pier level, below the raised entrance square.

Russian Character Competition

The Butovo Park Culture & Education Center will act as the gathering place of the new micro-district. It will have an important role in creating a sense of community and teaching residents of the history of the area. Even if relatively small in comparison to the residential towers surrounding it, the Center will be the one element giving the district its unique character.

The Center becomes an intriguing exception from the general scenery: a multifunctional playground, free for interpretations. It transcends traditional volumetric constraints becoming two ephemeral landscapes, the outside and the inside. The merging of the harsh reality of the outside world to an abstract game of geometry acts as an escape to the ideal world. The interior where the projections of light and shadows from the outside create yet another landscape, is the result of this intellectual exercise. Architecture is the configuring agent between the landscapes. 

The interior spaces can be easily modified according to user needs. Daylight changes the atmosphere hour by hour as do the sounds the users create. The exterior changes in accordance with changes in vegetation: nature will gradually take over parts of the structure. The facades bear no indication of what the building holds inside. Two opposite entrances open the space like an envelope. The levitating roof structure adds to the mystery of the shadowy interior as box-like shapes rise upwards in a geometric composition that blurs the understanding of space, while skylights ensure a comfortable yet controlled amount of natural light.

The functions are combined into a laboratory for learning. A seamless network of services is spread over one fluid space. The auditoriums and the gym are set in voids cut into the sloping floor surface of the main floor. Visible from above, they are separated from the main area only by glass balconies. These sunken areas provide a wide range of opportunities for programming. 

Helsinki Central Library

'Käännös' grows from the dynamic between the site and the goals of the library program. The interplay between the building’s three individual floors is the key concept of the entry.

The public plaza in front of the building will continue inside, merging with a catalogue of meeting and experience features. The ground floor will be a robust, busy and frequently updated space suitable for quick visits and walkthroughs. The active, zero-threshold public spaces will be visible, attractive, understandable and welcoming to all visitors.

The traditional, serene library atmosphere can be found on the top floor. This will be a calm and contemplative area floating above the busy central Helsinki. It will offer unobstructed, majestic views to the surrounding park and cityscape.

These two contrasting spaces that perfectly complement each other are created by an arching wooden volume. The spaces inside the volume will be enclosed and more intimate. The wooden volume is stretched vertically to create connections to the open main floors below and above.