Juho Grönholm

ALA architects: Kilden Performing Arts Centre, Kristiansand, Norway, (c) Tuomas Uusheimo


Cloud City, Helsinki, Finland (unrealized residential project, rendering: ALA Architects)

Juho Grönholm is a partner and one of the founders of Helsinki-based ALA Architects. He is specialized in public architecture and his aim is to provide options, develop prototypes and look for innovations in this field. He believes in experiential architecture that does not depend on signature styles.

One of Grönlund’s most important works has been designing Kilden Performing Arts Center in Kristiansand, Norway. Grönholm designed Kilden together with Antti Nousjoki, Janne Teräsvirta and Samuli Woolston, and the building was completed in January 2012.

Kilden brings together Kristiansand’s all institutions of performing arts, providing several multi-purpose spaces that can be used for a variety of different performances including music and theatre. The theater and concert hall complex contains four performance venues with a total of 2300 seats.

The core of Kilden’s design is that the concert, theatre and multi-purpose halls are situated without interference inside the building. Entering the performance spaces the audience passes a monumental oak wall made of CNC milled solid planks. The oak element does not only work as a disguised theatrical effect, but also complements the purpose of the architecture by improving the acoustics of the foyer.

Grönholm thinks that as an architect it is his duty to make his hometown Helsinki a better place to live. In New York Grönholm finds interesting how urban life comes about and where it emerges. Evolution of different neighborhoods, empty spaces and their temporary uses, multiculturalism, the survival struggle of the solid city structure, and the city dwellers’ independence from private transport are some of the issues he finds interesting in the urban life.