House of Fairytales: The Fairytale Forest
“When the sun rose higher, Elisa saw before her a mountainous land, half floating in the air. Its peaks were capped with sparkling ice, and in the middle rose a castle that was a mile long [...] Down below, palm trees swayed
and brilliant flowers bloomed as big as mill wheels. […] When she came close to the churches they turned into a fleet of ships sailing beneath her, but when she looked down it was only a sea mist drifting over the water”. Excerpt from 'The Wild Swans,' H.C. Andersen.
“The Fairytale Forest” envisions the garden of H.C. Andersen as a mighty forest growing amidst a great lake within the heart of Odense. The forest extends the
existing garden skyward to a treetop walkway perched amidst a sky-scape of floating pools, with views that skim across Odense city. The tree-top museum winds a journey through a nature reserve of swaying bulrushes, wild birds and treehouses that float mid-air – gradually uncovering the stories of H.C. Andersen through a garden in which you can walk on air. The tree trunks form a dappled forest-scape below that extends out into the surrounding streets, blending the
forest into the city. The great lake collects and celebrates rainwater from the city around it, in a seasonally shifting landscape of waterways, rockpools, fountains and ice ponds - in a garden in which you can walk on water.
The forest allows the museum to operate as a transient journey where the city, nature and the imagination meet. The individual “trees” of the forest embody imagery from H.C. Andersen’s worlds, recognisable characters from his tales, metaphors he coined and objects he used in his daily life and work. In this way, the forest manifests the projected “toolbox” of H.C. Andersen. Sitting protectively over the little yellow house at the heart of the forest is the Mighty Oak, the gateway to the lofty treetop garden. It is through this great tree that you enter the magical world of H.C. Andersen and ascend up into the skies, into the realm of your imagination.
In collaboration with Kirsty Badenoch, the project was placed in the final 19 of 486 entries.