Flower House, 1998
We were commissioned to plan and build a school for gardeners in Kiipula,
Finland. The building is shaped like a big Gerbera flower because they
grow Gerberas in the greenhouses belonging to the school. The Gerbera
flower looks like a prototype for a flower with a round centre and oval
shaped petals. The building's details and structures are inspired by
fairy tale written by us.
tale is about an alchemist, Ericus Kipulensis, who builds
a genetics laboratory in Kiipula in the 14th century. Inside the
garden, the centre of the "flower", you can find "remnants"
of the laboratory. The school's computer class is situated in one of
the "ruins". The alchemist succeeds in creating a big genetically
manipulated birch tree, of which three big "leaves" have
been found and put in the winter garden. They are placed on different
in the 8m. high winter garden in the middle of the "flower". There
are chairs and tables on them where the pupils can study or relax.
interior you can see many traces of the alchemist from the tale, as
well as interior details inspired by the adventures of a bee in search
of a Gerbera flower. Under the "petals" of the Gerbera flower you can
find the classrooms. Every class has the identity of a certain tree,
which also can be seen in the wall paintings. The wall paintings were
carried out by Tytti Heikkinen.
our contacts with the Department of Art and Technology at the Chicago
Art Institute, we were lucky to get sound artist Shawn Decker to do a sound installation for the winter garden.
the sounds of birds, bees, the wind and the rain, which were recorded
from around the building by Simo Alitalo. Decker then cleaned
and manipulated the sounds on a computer. Four CD players pick out small
sequences at random from four CD records filled with different sounds.
The ever-changing combinations that are created make the work renew
itself continuously, creating a relaxing surrounding for both teachers