kengo kuma-designed hans christian andersen museum set to open in denmark

kengo kuma-designed hans christian andersen museum set to open in denmark

in the summer of 2021, a kengo kuma-designed museum dedicated to the life and work of hans christian andersen will open in odense, denmark. offering a new perspective on the much-loved author, the institution seeks to provide a unique artistic encounter, which combines landscape, architecture, and modern exhibition design. the vision for the museum is to spatialize the experience of andersen’s literary universe and stage a complete artistic setting in which architecture, sound, light and a stream of images constantly create new encounters between each visitor and andersen’s fairytales.

kengo kuma hans christian andersen museum
all images courtesy of kengo kuma & associates, cornelius vöge, MASU planning



as part of the design process, kengo kuma & associates (KKAA) found inspiration in andersen’s fairytale ‘the tinderbox’, in which a tree reveals an underground world, which magically unearths new perspectives right in front of the beholder. ‘​the idea behind the architectural design resembled andersen’s method, where a small world suddenly expands to a bigger universe,’​ kuma explains. KKAA worked on the project alongside cornelius vöge and MASU planning.

kengo kuma hans christian andersen museum



the museum site covers an area of 5,600 square meters (60,278 square feet) and contains a children’s house and an underground museum, which intertwines with a surrounding garden. on top of that, the museum will comprise a wide array of state-of-the-art technologies and approaches to set design, all of which will add to the experience of andersen’s magical universe coming to life.

kengo kuma hans christian andersen museum



‘hans christian andersen’s artistic universe is fantastic, because it reverses how you imagine this world you thought you knew, but without putting anything else in its place,’ says creative director of the new museum, henrik lübker. ‘his fairytales do not point towards a universal truth, but rather into the open — towards the peculiarity and multiplicity of the world. in the new museum, we maintain this ambiguity by using andersen’s own artistic strategies as the starting point for how the garden, the house and the exhibition have all been shaped, as well as for the many artistic contributions that will also be part of the museum​.’



‘we have to dive into the fairytales as the very first thing, because they are what everyone knows,’ adds torben grøngaard jeppesen, the head of odense city museums. ‘the idea is not to retell the stories, but rather to communicate their familiarity and inspire further reading of andersen​.’ the exhibitions within the museum will be developed by various artists in collaboration with the british design agency event communications. see designboom’s previous coverage of the project here.

kengo kuma-designed hans christian andersen museum set to open in denmark



project info:


name: H.C. andersen’s house
location: odense, denmark
exhibition design: event communications ltd., london
architectural design: kengo kuma & associates
consultant architect: cornelius vöge
architect of record: C & W architects
landscape design: MASU planning
engineering design: søren jensen
opening summer 2021

suscribe on designboom
- see sample
- see sample
suscribe on designboom

happening now! croatian furniture company prostoria stands as an example of a different and more traditional approach based on the evolution from the local factuality of all actors involved in the production process. explore prostoria on designboom! 

architecture in denmark (216)

kengo kuma (264)

museums and galleries (671)


a diverse digital database that acts as a valuable guide in gaining insight and information about a product directly from the manufacturer, and serves as a rich reference point in developing a project or scheme.

designboom will always be there for you

milan, new york, beijing, tokyo,  since 1999