New Hans Christian Andersen museum green-lighted in Odense

The team behind the project revealed museum’s financing plans on Monday

The potential for a new Hans Christian Andersen museum has taken a big step towards becoming reality following some generous million-kroner donations.

The A.P. Møller Foundation has ensured the realisation of the ambitious project, thanks to a 225 million kroner donation. Additionally, Augustinus Foundation has made a donation of 20 million kroner, while the municipality of Odense has granted 60 million kroner.

The Japanese architect firm Kengo Kuma & Associates will be the central driver behind its design, while the British firm Event Communications will be responsible for developing the museum’s exhibitions. Both were present at the press conference, which took place in the current HC Andersen’s museum in Odense.

The man behind the wheel: world-renowned Japanese architect Kengo Kuma (photo: Ard Jongsma)

Placed at Lotzes Have, where the current Hans Christian Andersen Museum and the Children’s Cultural Centre (The Tinder Box) is located, the new museum will extend out across the now-closed street Thomas B Thriges Gade and engulf an area of almost 9,000 square meters.

The new museum will be placed in the heart of Odense (photo: Kengo Kuma & Associates, Cornelius+Vöge, MASU planning)
The new museum will be placed in the heart of Odense (photo: Kengo Kuma & Associates, Cornelius+Vöge, MASU planning)

As opposed from the current museum, which mainly focuses on Andersen’s biography, the new museum will take his fairy tales on stage, creating immersion and experiences with a potential for learning.

“The city already attracts visitors from all corners of the globe and almost 70 percent of visitors today are international tourists,” said Anker Boye, the mayor of Odense.

“Like the Danish visitors to the museum, they are fascinated by his fairy tales. But it is precisely that fairy tale touch which is lacking at the current museum. For that reason, one great wish is to create a new setting and a well-staged dissemination that does justice to his great fame and unique fairy tale universe.”

Plenty of work to be done. From left to right: the city and culture councillor of Odense, Jane Jegind, a partner of Kengo Kuma & Associates, Yuki Ikeguchi, architect Kengo Kuma and the mayor of Odense Anker Boye (photo: Ard Jongsma)

The current project is now set in stone a few years after the talks of building a Hans Christian Andersen theme park fell through. It was decided that a new museum would be a much better investment than a theme park, which could cost billions.

READ MORE: H.C. Andersen theme park inches closer

The construction of the new museum is expected to begin early 2017 and be completed in 2020.

“I am sure that the new museum will make Hans Christian Andersen feel even more present and alive for the children and young people of the city, while I also expect the new museum to significantly boost the city’s culture tourism,” said Boye.