Kengo Kuma creates Hans Christian Andersen’s Museum in Denmark

Kengo Kuma & Associates has created the design for the H.C. Andersen’s House, a new museum in Odense, Denmark. The venture “will provide a unique artistic experience, which combines landscape, architecture and modern exhibition design”.

Located in the birthplace of the famous author, the new building represents the story of his life and work. The proposal is in fact the architectural reinterpretation of ‘The Tinderbox’, a story of Andersen, in which a tree reveals an underground world, which magically reveals new perspectives right in front of the beholder. According to Kuma, the design is inspired by “the Andersen’s method, where a small world suddenly expands to a bigger universe”.

The project includes a children’s house, an underground museum, surrounded by a magical garden. In addition, the museum will utilize “a wide array of state-of-the-art technologies and approaches to set design, which will all add to the experience of Andersen’s magical universe coming to life”. “Spatializing” the experience of Andersen’s literary universe and staging a complete artistic experience, the museum’s architecture, sound, light, and visuals will come together to constantly create new encounters between each visitor and the fairytales.

The future museum is one of Denmark’s most ambitious museum projects in the past years and was made possible by The A.P. Møller Foundation with the contributions from Nordea-fonden, The Augustinus Foundation, Knud Højgaards Fond, and the City of Odense.

“We have to dive into the fairytales as the very first thing because they are what everyone knows. The idea is not to retell the stories, but rather to communicate their familiarity and inspire further reading of Andersen”, said Torben Grøngaard Jeppesen, the head of Odense City Museums.

Scheduled to open in the summer of 2021, the new museum will provide a space for the pursuit of puzzlement, imagination, and magic adventures.