Tokyo-based Kengo Kuma & Associates has unveiled their competition-winning designs for the new and enchanting Hans Christian Andersen Museum in Odense, Denmark. Draped in greenery, the lush museum will pay homage to Andersen’s famous fairytales and include Kengo’s signature use of timber construction. Tall maze-like hedges and “enchanted” gardens wrap around the complex to hide views and cultivate a sense of mystery and adventure.
Located in Hans Christian Andersen’s native city, the proposed museum will comprise a curvaceous 5,600-square-meter building mostly submerged underground to maximize aboveground garden space. To minimize the building’s visual footprint on the landscape, the architects topped the buildings with scooped green roofs and wrapped the facade in a curved timber latticed backed by a glass curtain wall. Tall hedges will also partially enclose sections of the timber volumes.
Unlike Odense’s existing Hans Christian Andersen museum that highlights the author’s personal life, the new design will focus on Andersen’s fables. ”It was important to us that gardens, building and exhibition design were envisaged as an interconnected whole that clearly captures the spirit of Andersen and brings out the essence of the city of Odense at the same time,” said Odense’s head of cultural affairs Jane Jegind. The majority of the site will be dedicated to gardens with large trees, lawns, curving box hedges, water features, and even a sunken courtyard. The complex will also include the Tinderbox, a new children’s center designed around fairytale themes. The project was designed in collaboration with Cornelius+Vöge Architects, MASU Planning Landscape Architects and Eduard Troelsgård Engineers, and is slated for completion in 2020.