Kengo Kuma-Hans Christian Andersen Museum

Kengo Kuma and Associates designed a museum for the famous writer Hans Christian Andersen in Odense, Denmark. In this museum, which is planned to open in the summer of 2021, it will be possible to look at the author’s life and work from a different perspective. According to the designers’ statement, the project will provide “a unique art experience that combines landscape, architecture and modern exhibition design.”

Respect for the Grand Master

Kengo Kuma’s design and the location of the museum were not random choices. The city where the museum is located, Odense, is also the fairy-tale writer Christian Andersen’s birthplace. The author was born in Odense on April 2, 1805. He lived here until he went to Copenhagen in 1819 with the dream of becoming a theater actor. In other words, Odense has an essential place in Andersen’s life.

The Hans Christian Andersen Museum is not the only point that refers to the author. The entire design is the result of an architectural interpretation of one of Andersen’s fairy-tales. The museum was inspired by the story called The Tinderbox, one of the author’s works.

The story is about a magical tree that can open brand new magical worlds for those looking at it. The designers also aimed to create the same effect on the visitors. Their purpose is not to recreate fairy-tales but to show the real world’s strangeness to visitors.

From Enchanted Garden to Museum

The Hans Christian Andersen Museum, which has little time to open, is not just a single building. The project includes a magical garden, a children’s house, and an underground museum. This huge Andersen Museum, spreading over 5600 square meters in total, has a lot to offer for many children or adults.

The museum does its best to turn the magical atmosphere that the author creates in his fairy tales into a real experience. Although the entire design is already built on solid foundations to make the visitors have that experience altogether, there are many other helping elements.

For example, to transform Hans Andersen’s tales into a “spatial experience,” the audio and video systems in the latest technology were used. Lighting is also a critical element to achieve the desired atmosphere for the visitors.

The project has already influenced many in the Netherlands. It is already one of the largest and most impressive museums in the country in recent years. That naturally increased the expectations of many people towards the museum.


Courtesy of Kengo Kuma

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