Denmark’s Queen Margrethe II opened the museum on Wednesday, after which it will be open to the public, even though the enormously ambitious project is still not fully complete.
“We call it a soft opening, which means we are not quite done yet,” Henrik Lübker, from Odense City Museums. “But we’ve been locked inside for so long, and not everyone can travel overseas this summer, so we thought it would be terrible not to be able to show people what we have been working on for so many years.”
Photo: Ard Jongsma/Stillwords
Designed by Japanese architect Kengo Kuma, who also created Tokyo’s new Olympic stadium, the museum cost around 390 million Danish kroner (52 million euros, $62 million), covered for the most part by private foundations.
“The idea behind the architectural design resembled Andersen’s method, where a small world suddenly expands to a bigger universe,” Kuma explained ahead of the inauguration.
Two thirds of the wood-and-glass museum is underground and it is located in a vast garden with paved walkways and high trimmed hedges.
A statement described the structure as “flowing into a magical children’s universe” and added that it “intertwines with a labyrinthine magic garden”.
Andersen was born in 1805 to poor parents before earning global fame for works that include “The Little Mermaid”, “The Ugly Ducking,” “The Emperor’s New Clothes” and “The Princess and the Pea”.
“It is our hope that we, with the new museum, are approaching the core of H C Andersen’s universe,” the museum’s statement said.
You can book a ticket here.