The Fairytale Grove
Location: Odense, Denmark
Client: Odense Kommune, Realdania, Odense bys museer
Program: Museum, park
Size: 3.700 m2
Status: Competition propoal
Team: Jonas Nordgren, Ted Schauman
Hans Christian Andersen is both a national treasure of Denmark as well as a beloved asset to the global community. His fairytales are widely known both for their mesmerizing qualities as for the interposition of subtle philosophies of life where one sometimes can sense the presence of H.C. Andersen himself as a character within the story. The new House of Fairytales or “ The Fairytale Grove” as we call it, will not only be a museum but a lush green lung where the citizens of Odense will, in their everyday life, obtain a natural relationship to the treasures of H.C Andersen. The Fairytale Grove is part of the local context as well as an iconic destination for far away tourists who want to know the work and person of Hans Christian Andersen on a deeper level.
The visitors who enter the Fairytale Grove will discover that the museum unfolds as a fairytale landscape where the guest intuitively experiences the time, life and art of H.C. Andersen on their own terms, thus experiencing the museum on a personal level just as one experiences a fairytale. Just as his stories the museum offers different kinds of atmospheres; lightness and darkness, colors and textures, narrowness and spaciousness, playfulness and calmness as well as informative and educational environments. The main organizational principle of the Fairytale Grove is to establish a robust and flexible platform where the exhibition areas and the support functions coexist and are interlinked but where they are able to function independently and without disturbing each other.
This robust principle enables the plan to adapt and adjust according to the exact needs of the museum. The museum, bookshop and café will be natural anchor points in Odense’s urban fabric and complement the development plan for Thomas B. Thriges Gade with a lush parkland setting with a classic-like pavilion as the café, gift shop and the flexible exhibition area operate independently but in connection with the other parts of the museum. However, everyday life is always present at the Fairytale Grove making the person play the an important role of the experience. And as Hans Christian Andersen would have put it, “Life is the most wonderful fairy tale of all!”