Design a Fairy Tale Garden in Denmark

A new international ideas competition from the Hans Christian Andersen House of Fairy Tales in Odense, Denmark, hopes to create a new place that can “match the poetry” of famed children’s book author Hans Christian Andersen. The goal is to create a new a building and a garden that will welcome people into Andersen’s world. Odense City Museums and the Odense city government invite all types of design professionals, artists, and communicators to create a comprehensive concept that will take the current disjointed facilities and make a global attraction. The winning design will take home 100,000 euros.

One of Odense’s main attractions is the little yellow corner house where Hans Christian Andersen was born. But for the sponsors of the competition, that little house doesn’t match the stature of the man who wrote The Little Mermaid, The Ugly Duckling, The Princess and the Pea, and other children’s classics.

Torben Grøngaard Jeppesen, museum director, Odense City Museums, said: “The House of Fairy Tales should reflect the international renown of 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 Fairy Tales 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 concept needs to place this new destination into the broader urban context. The competition site is located in Odense’s city center, which is apparently undergoing a total overhaul. A four-lane highway is being torn down, and old neighborhoods bisected in the 1960s will be re-sown together. “New green neighborhoods with housing, workplaces and commercial and cultural facilities will be created.”

Jørgen Clausen, chief executive, City of Odense, said: “The vision of a more coherent city center is a unique basis for development of a House of Fairy Tales and an adjacent garden. Both will be distinctive elements in the historic part of Odense.”

See a video of the location:

Once the idea has been settled upon through this competition, the sponsors will organize a subsequent design competition to create more detailed designs. That design competition will be “restricted,” most likely to the finalists from the ideas competition.

Submissions are due by November 29, 2013. Learn more.

Image credit: Hans Christian Andersen / Anne Grahame Johnstone

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