Kengo Kuma, Architect
photo: Andersen House
The design resembles Hans Christian Andersen’s method, where small worlds expanded to reveal a bigger universe
photo: Kengo Kuma/Michael McGurk 2018
Japanese architect Kengo Kuma designed the recently-opened H.C. Andersen House
he H.C. Andersen House,
of Odense. Inside, visitors navigate a series
designed by architect Kengo
of immersive chambers, trails and interactive
Kuma, has opened to visitors
exhibits that bring the master storyteller’s tales
in the Danish city of Odense.
to life. The exhibition spaces have been designed
Dedicated to the life of the
in a partnership between Event Communications
celebrated author Hans Christian Andersen – famous for his fairytales, such as The
and 12 selected artists from around the world. The common denominator for the contributors
Little Mermaid, The Emperor’s New Clothes
– who include Brazilian artist Henrique Oliveira,
and The Ugly Duckling – the US$62m visitor
British puppet-maker Andy Gent and Danish
attraction ranges across indoor and outdoor
scriptwriter Kim Fupz Aakeson – is that their work
spaces, both above and below ground.
is inspired by the art of Hans Christian Andersen.
The attraction is located on the site of
Creative director, Henrik Lübker, said:
Andersen’s childhood home, which first opened
“We’ve identified artists who correspond with
as a museum in 1908. As part of a nationwide
Andersen’s universe and its core values.
initiative to expand the country’s cultural tourism
“In that sense, the ambition has been to create
offer, the City embarked on a project to transform
art which exists on its own terms, while also
the museum into a flagship tourist destination.
fitting into the overall project – Creating Hans
The attraction breaks new ground with its
Christian Andersen’s House in a way that melds together landscape, architecture, exhibitions,
the collection, with an immersive theatre bringing
design and art to form a coherent experience.
visitors to a new appreciation of Andersen’s creative output and celebrating his imagination. Kuma says the building is the architectural
“Visitors go on a journey and enter into a world in which humour and play are at least as important as answers and truth. They
interpretation of much-loved tale, The Tinderbox, in
experience a world in which you step into
which a tree unveils an underground world which
surreal game shows or get thrown around
magically reveals new perspectives to the beholder.
by the elements as if you were a tin soldier.
“The idea behind the architectural design
A world where you are at the bottom of the
resembled Andersen’s method, where a
ocean looking up, looking out, at a different
small world suddenly expands to reveal a
world as if you were a Little Mermaid.
bigger universe,” Kuma told Dezeen.
H.C. Andersen House has a floor space of
“The audience can expect a world that has been created for all ages and eras.
5,600sq m – two-thirds of which is underground,
For families and for the individual.” l
creating a “magical garden space” in the centre
l More: www.hcandersenshus.dk
attractionsmanagement.com ISSUE 3 2021
photos: COAST – Rasmus Hjortshøj and Lærke Beck Johansen – Odense City Museums
combination of location and the interpretation of