Home Magazine The new museum dedicated to Hans Christian Andersen

In Denmark, efforts are being made to conclude ambitious and interesting projects for the enhancement of the national heritage. The new museum dedicated to the writer Hans Christian Andersen (Odense, 1805 - Copenhagen, 1875) will open to the public in June 2021, famous for its fairy tales - among all, The Little Mermaid, The Ugly Duckling, The Little Match Girl and The Princess and the Pea - who have accompanied generations of children. 

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An innovative project wanted by his hometown, Copenhagen, which combines culture, sustainable architecture and nature. The new museum will rise in an area of 5,600 square meters, about two-thirds of which are below ground level, in order to cement an area that is as small as possible and make the rest of the space available for the creation of a large park urban. At the time of the announcement of the winning project of the Odense city tender, in April 2016, the then-mayor Anker Boye motivated the choice by stating how the proposal of the Japanese architect Kengo Kuma captures the spirit of Hans Christian Andersen and the city.


The rendering of Hans Christian Andersen Museum. Copyright Kengu Kuma architects – Cornelius Vöge architects – MASU planning


The rendering of Hans Christian Andersen Museum. Copyright Kengu Kuma architects – Cornelius Vöge architects – MASU planning


Born from a humble family in a rural town steeped in old traditions and superstitions, governed by unchanged age-old customs, but also free from the conventions and hypocrisies of the nascent bourgeoisie, he absorbed his father (passionate reader and lover of walking in the woods) love for literature and nature, a substrate from which he would later draw his famous fairy tales.

The museum will be divided into a series of cylindrical structures with glass facades protected by wooden lattices, while the slightly concave roofs will host hanging gardens, green areas that add up to those of the surrounding park. Inside, narrow wooden columns reminiscent of tree trunks suggest the idea of a forest, in dialogue with the natural external environment visible through the windows, and which recalls the magical and mysterious places that inspired Andersen. The museum spaces will also host Tinderbox, an interactive area for children on the theme, of course, of fairy tales, which will host events and workshops designed for the younger audience. The new museum will be located near the house where Andersen spent his childhood, in an area of the city that has recently undergone urban redevelopment to reduce car traffic and revitalize the historic centre.

Cover image: Hans Christian Andersen portrait of 1869. Photo by Thora Hallager.

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