Alda Ly Architecture (ALA) is a full service architecture and interior design firm that emphasizes deep listening and hands-on collaboration with clients throughout the design process. The firm serves established organizations as well as entrepreneurs and startups who are looking to rethink traditional healthcare, retail, office, and cultural spaces. ALA is a recognized thought leader in biophilic design and has been featured nationally and internationally in publications such as Metropolis, Contract, Interior Design, and Wallpaper*, among others.
The New York City-based studio’s long list of clients includes Bloomberg, Red Bull, Princeton University, Rent the Runway, Christian Louboutin, The Wing, and women’s healthcare platform, Tia. While ALA’s projects range in scale and type, they all share ALA’s minimalist and playful design vocabulary, and seamlessly combine comfort, wellness, smart planning and fresh interior design concepts. To arrive at these thoughtful, custom solutions, ALA treats each as an opportunity to foster a client’s creativity.
Because the studio often gives form to services and business models that have few spatial precedents, it starts each project with a discovery phase in which an organization’s founders, team members, and users share their individual experiences with that brand; ALA’s ethnographic research becomes the basis of programming and functionality, as well as concepts for layouts and finishes. The Studio is committed to expressing every commission’s potential within the constraints of time and budget.
ALAis a certified Minority and Woman-owned Business Enterprise (M/WBE) in NYC.
Alda Ly is founder and principal of ALA. Born in New Zealand and raised in a working-class suburb of Los Angeles, she would watch her cabinetmaker father draw kitchen elevations and accompany him to open houses to see how other people shaped their spaces. From the moment she studied freehand drawing as a UC Berkeley undergrad, Ly knew she wanted to become an architect, and went on to earn a Master’s degree from Harvard University’s Graduate School of Design. While still a student at Harvard, in 2008 she helped launch MASS Design Group, the award-winning nonprofit design practice dedicated to humanitarian and socially sustainable work.
Since 2002, Ly has lived in New York City and has worked at Rafael Viñoly Architects, 212box, HWKN, and Leong Leong. In these tenures, she nurtured a curiosity in evolving work and cultural spaces, and discovered a talent for leading project teams with empathy. She also co-founded Designers Assembly, which supports young architects who aspire to ethical, creatively fulfilling entrepreneurship. She lives with her husband Rob, a tech product manager, and their son Simon and daughter Stella.