Rosegarden was commissioned to design and build a school for gardeners in Kiipula. The building is shaped like a big gerbera because gerberas are grown in the school’s greenhouses. The gerbera looks like a prototype for a flower with a circular centre and oval petals. The building’s details and structures are inspired by a fairy tale that we wrote.

The fairy tale is about an alchemist, Ericus Kipulensis, who builds a genetics laboratory in Kiipula in the 14th century. Inside the building’s winter garden, in 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, three big ‘leaves’ of which have been found and placed in the winter garden. They are on different levels in the eight-metre-high winter garden in the middle of the ‘flower’. There are chairs and tables on them, where the pupils can study or relax.

Inside the building, there are 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. These include the window in the teachers’ room, which is shaped like a bee cut in half.

The classrooms are located under the gerbera ‘petals’. Every classroom can be identified by trees, which also can be seen on the wall paintings, which were realised by Tytti Heikkinen.

Sound ar tist Shawn Decker made a sound installation for the winter garden. He used the sounds of birds, bees, the wind and the rain, which were recorded from around the building by Simo Alitalo. Decker then digitally cleaned and manipulated the sounds. Four CD players pick out small sequences at random from four CDs filled with different sounds. The ever-changing combinations that are created make the work renew itself continuously and provide both teachers and students with a relaxing environment.

A school for gardeners, Kiipula, 1998.