The eternally pertinent stories of Danish writer Hans Christian Andersen appeal to people all over the world and are read by children and adults alike. However, the treasure trove of fairytales needs a physical setting that matches the poetry. That is why Odense City Museums and the City of Odense are now launching an international open ideas competition for a new presentation concept, a new House of Fairytales and a fairytale garden: a new attraction that should welcome people into Andersen’s fairytale world and also serve as a world-class landmark in Odense, the birthplace of the writer. The ideas competition is co-sponsored by the Realdania Foundation.
The little yellow corner house known as the birthplace of Hans Christian Andersen is one of the main attractions in the Danish city of Odense. The main focus of the presentations is currently on the life and character of the writer, but the museum does not fully respond to the great interest in the fairytales shared by the people who come from all over the world to see it.
In launching a large-scale international ideas competition, Odense City Museums and the City of Odense now invite architects, communicators, artists and others to present innovative ideas for an overall concept that can combine the current facilities of the place in a single distinctive attraction.
The new House of Fairytales should unite, continue and develop the experiences currently offered by the museum, while at the same time adding a new layer to ensure that the fairytales will to a greater extent be the gateway to the world of Hans Christian Andersen. The House of Fairytales should communicate the power of the stories and offer a complete experience in which curiosity, imagination, experience and reflection go hand in hand with architecture of the very best quality.
Torben Grøngaard Jeppesen, museum director, Odense City Museums: ‘The House of Fairytales should reflect the inter-national renown of Hans Christian Andersen, and its architecture should be of the very best quality. The garden should be a unique urban space that serves as a place of inspiration, immersion, surprise and play and invites local residents and visitors to the House of Fairytales to come in to experience this. The aspiration is to create a strong whole that fits into the surroundings in an elegant and respectful way.’
The House of Fairytales: part of a new city centre
Right now there is a unique opportunity to rethink the area around the Hans Christian Andersen House in the context of the city of Odense. The competition site is located at the city centre, which is currently undergoing major transformation. The city district that was bisected by the four-lane Thomas B Thriges Gade road in the 1960s will be reconnected, and new green neighbourhoods with housing, workplaces and commercial and cultural facilities will be created.
Jørgen Clausen, chief executive, City of Odense: ‘Urban planning in Odense is developing so fast that the city will look very different ten years from now. The vision of a more coherent city centre is a unique basis for development of a Hans Christian Andersen House of Fairytales and an adjacent garden. Both will be distinctive elements in the historic part of Odense and an attraction that will benefit both local residents and visitors.’
The result of the ideas competition will be taken into account in the preparation of a subsequent design competition that is to bring the concept even closer to realisation. A total fund of EUR 100,000 has been set aside for prizes to the winning entries in the competition.
The ideas competition is co-sponsored by the Danish Realdania Foundation.
Read more at www.houseoffairytales.odense.dk
Torben Grøngaard Jeppesen, museum director,
Odense City Museums, firstname.lastname@example.org Tel: +45 65 51 46 00 / +45 20 90 13 10
Jørgen Clausen, chief executive, City of Odense,
email@example.com ; tel: +45 65 51 10 00
Lars Autrup, project manager, Realdania; tel: +45 70 11 66 66
The international ideas competition is open to everyone throughout the world and is particularly aimed at architects, museum professionals, communicators, designers, landscape architects, urban planners, theatre professionals and others with good ideas. The Danish Architects’ Association will act as competition adviser throughout the competition period.
Competition entrants are asked to present proposals for an overall communication and space design concept that links together the existing facilities at the site in a single unified attraction of international standing with a clear focus on the fairytales. The result of the ideas competition will be an important contribution to the development of the brief for a subsequent restricted design competition.
Competition entries should take the vision for a Hans Christian Andersen House of Fairytales and a fairytale garden set out in the competition brief into account and should describe the museum presentation and communications aspects and the spatial and architectural framework of the House of Fairytales and the garden in a single concept.
Entries must be submitted no later than 29 November 2013, and the competition result is scheduled for announcement in late March 2014. The subsequent design competition is expected to be launched later in 2014. The scope of the project as well as its budget and time schedule will be determined on the basis of the result of the ideas competition.
The ideas competition brief can be downloaded at www.houseoffairytales.odense.dk