This project was a collaboration with Architects Jim Bogle and Jacob Miller.
We have observed two existing conditions that the House of Fairytales must navigate: the Global context of Hans Christian Andersen’s work and the Local context of Odense. This is our launching point, and in an attempt to realize its form we can discuss our proposal in two parts: The Anti-Icon and the Icon, or the ugly duckling and the swan, or the Icon. The anti-icon (ugly ducking) acts in favor of the local, it is completely respectful of the physical and ephemeral characteristics of its physical surroundings. Its architecture may not be extreme yet it goes out of its way to establish itself as something which “belongs”. Through the use of a Mat Building Typology, the House of Fairytales can maximize its use of site by scattering galleries (the bulk of the program) throughout its eastern side while remaining low and out of sight. Bright and transparent corridors take the visitor on a journey which has been conceived as a narrative between the work on display and the Fairytale Garden. The two are constantly in dialogue with one another, whether looking on to one of the three centripetal gardens within the Museum, performing in the new “tinderbox”, or admiring “Lotze’s Garden”. The museum remains one story tall, respecting the property of the neighbors. Our strategy seeks to fully engage the public at the ground level through the weaving of museum program and garden.
Located on the sites west side one encounters the Swan (Icon). Here, “Lotze’s Garden” raises dramatically from the ground. An iconic gesture offering a unique formal engagement with Odense’s developing urban fabric, and serves as the gateway into the universe of Hans Christian Andersen, as well as the historic district of OdenseLotze’s Garden offers open space, an outdoor performance space and easily accessible views both outward and inward. Beneath this garden canopy, visitors are quite literally greeted as they enter by favorite Hans Christian Andersen characters; stone sculptures of some most recognizable function as the canopy’s structure. This arrival hopes to be a spectacle that would attract the attention of a global audience. At the museums center, Hans Christian Andersen Tower rises above the city. At the museums center, Hans Christian Andersen Tower rises above the city. At its top is the man himself, dipped in gold. An elevator allows visitors to access the towers top, where accompanied by a statue of Hans Christian Andersen, they are treated to panoramic views of the city. The tower and the glowing statue of the man himself serves as an iconic beacon seen from near and far, an orientation, and foretelling of the inner beauty of the museum and garden below.
We can only project as to how much of a global presence this, or any proposal will have. Yet, because of the nature of Hans Christian Andersen’s work, the House of Fairytales will be an inevitable link between Odense and the world. Therefore, its success as a potential must see attraction relies on the dialogue between the work on display and its dialogue with the museums more active program; such as public gardens, performance space, cafes, and shops. Our proposal attempts to rearrange the existing program in a way that allows for the possibility of discovery at the home Hans Christian Andersen.