Stroll Through a Fairytale Forest

Hans Christian Andersen House of Fairytales Museum

The existing Hans Christian Andersen Museum opened in 1908 and is located in Hans Christian Andersen’s childhood home in Odense. As part of a Denmark-wide initiative to expand the country’s cultural tourism offer, the City of Odense has embarked on an ambitious project to transform the museum into a flagship tourist attraction, harnessing the worldwide appeal of Andersen’s stories.

The new Museum aims to break new ground in its combination of site and collection interpretation with immersive theatre, bringing visitors into a new appreciation of Andersen’s creative output and celebrating his imagination. Four of Europe’s leading design practices were invited to take part in a paid concept competition, which included regular dialogue sessions with the client. Event’s winning concept was lauded for its creation of a beautifully imagined, coherent fairytale world, which demonstrates an empathy with the poetic imagination of Hans Christian Andersen, and conveys this with a warm, organic and vital expression.​

Event’s concept proposal brings Andersen’s stories to life, inviting visitors to suspend their disbelief and heightening their sensibilities. At its core, it taps into a fundamental aspect of fairytales – they are journeys where the line between the everyday and the transformative is blurred.

In conceiving our approach, Event was careful to follow the Museum’s edict that empathy, imagination and play will form the basis for learning about Hans Christian Andersen’s fairytale world. Form and content will encourage exploration and discovery with the goal to arouse emotions, create understanding and give guests a unique experience.

Event’s concept proposal provided the inspiration and brief for an international architectural competition for the new museum – the architectural proposals were judged, in no small part, by how well they supported and responded to Event’s concept. The eventual winner, Kengo Kuma, conceived a proposal that wraps the architectural structure around the exhibition concept, creating an elegant and magical symbiosis. ​

Project type

Museum

Scope of works

  • Interpretative Planning
  • Exhibition Design and Creative Direction

Scale

5,200m2

Location

Odense, Denmark

Programme

2016 - ongoing

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