Located in Hans Christian Andersen’s hometown of Odense, Denmark, the new H.C. Andersen House Museum offers visitors a unique immersive experience inside the author’s multi-layered fairy tales.
The 60,000-square-foot museum had an official ‘soft-opening’ on June 30th, followed by a gradually increased opening over the summer, as construction and exhibition design is completed. The staged roll-out was necessitated due to delays caused by the country’s COVID lockdown.
The museum building features a series of galleries in oval-shaped rooms. Visitors are provided with headphones that play dialog from the author, voices from characters in his stories, and personified objects throughout each exhibition.
Many of the museum’s spaces are located below ground and accessed through the surrounding “magical” garden. The garden space encompasses an additional 75,000 square feet. It includes a mix of labyrinthine hedges, winding paths through “light” and “dark” gardens, and a ramp to the underground portion of the attraction.
Below ground, the exhibitions feature specially commissioned new works from a dozen international artists that interpret Andersen’s life and some of his iconic fairy tales. For example, one exhibition is a sunken bowl covered in water-topped glass, which provides visitors with a simulation of living underwater, a la The Little Mermaid.
Guests also have access to a children’s cultural centre, Delig, the museum’s restaurant, and Andersen’s birth home.