Rosegarden Art&Architecture was founded in 1996 by artist, Doctor in Fine Arts, Jan-Erik Andersson and architect (SAFA) Erkki Pitkäranta, with the aim of bringing in art as an integral part of the design process of a building.
Their collaborative primary design is based on writing stories, cutting cardboard and building up models – easy to change, remake and repaint – achieving a very primordial state of creativity, reaching to layers, where the real well being of the human “soul” rests. The digital tools are brought in afterwards.
During a fifteen-year period, they created a series of buildings and interiors, which stand out in the otherwise very minimal aesthetic milieu in Scandinavia.
Media researcher and professor Minna Tarkka describes Rosegarden’s approach: “Thus the respect for craft and Art Nouveau does not entail a nostalgic return to the 19th Century. For Rosegarden, the idea of craft involves a distinctive mixed media approach. Materials and their endless combinations excite them; hand-made details collide with computer-aided production of ornamental inlays; recycled materials are joined with cutting edge media and construction technology.”
Minna Tarkka: Rosegarden Promise, Rosegarden. Jan-Erik Andersson – Erkki Pitkäranta. ISBN 952-91-4051-7
Yrjö Haila, a writer and professor emeritus of environmental policy at Tampere University describes the social importance of Rosegarden: “Nothing less is at issue with the house-project Life on a Leaf than the creation of a new world. Houses not only provide space for inhabitants, they also create inhabitants.”
Haila, Yrjö: Life on a Leaf: A House and Its Contexts. FRAMEWORK magazine 10/2009. Published by FRAME (Finnish Fund for Art Exchange)
The same theme is interesting also for writer and Curator John K. Grande: “The Leaf House is ultimately about love, love of relationships, love as community, and of art as a vital element in architecture, architecture as an ecological interactive process whose real economy is love.”
John K. Grande: Art Space Ecology: Two Views–Twenty Interviews (Black Rose Books, 2018)