A sensuous universe

Hans Christian Andersen’s House is a beautiful combination of architecture and landscaped park.

Photo: Thomas Mølvig, architect, MAA

In Japan, Hans Christian Andersen’s fairy tales are known and loved by adults and children alike. There is even a theme park near Tokyo where you can experience a replica of a Funen peasant landscape from the nineteenth century. It is therefore no coincidence that the world-famous Japanese architectural firm Kengo Kuma & Associates won the competition to design the new museum in Odense. The cultural exchange between Denmark and Japan goes both ways and enriches both nations.

The new museum is centrally located in Odense, and adjoins the building where Hans Christian Andersen was born next to Lotze’s Garden. The main entrance is distinguished by its open and discreet architecture with glulam columns and a red tiled roof. From here, visitors step into another – fairy tale-like – world much greener than the surrounding townscape.

Buildings and nature in perfect harmony

In essence, the new attraction consists of a series of rounded wooden pavilions with large glass facades. A stunning pattern of angled struts add a light and elegant touch to the facades. The buildings are beautifully arranged in an elaborate park, which over time will develop and grow into a completely unique setting – the enchanted forest.

The main building houses a foyer, ticket office and shop. The ceilings are clad in pale Troldtekt acoustic panels, which go well with the glulam structures and the simple construction. From here, visitors descend along a 110-metre winding ramp into Hans Christian Andersen’s subterranean universe. 

In the dark underground rooms, a number of tableaux have been created using advanced AV technology to cast a fresh light on the author’s personal story and his world-famous texts.

The rooms are characterised by a choice of simple, raw materials. Black-painted Troldtekt acoustic panels have also been installed on some of the ceilings to prevent the reverberation time from being longer than necessary.