Ordrupgaard, near Copenhagen, was found in 1918 as a Hansen family summer residence. Danish insurance magnate and a public official, Wilhelm Hansen, was an avid art collector. He knew lots of artists, often travelled to Paris and gathered the most significant French impressionists collection in Northern Europe. Hansen was keen to familiarize Danes with French art, and, ever since its inauguration, the veiled by woods country mansion was opened for visitors once a week. In 1951, when his wife died, it became known that the mansion, its English-style park and the entire art collection would be left to the Danish state on one condition - it had to be turned into a museum.
Ordrupgaard perhaps would continue its existence as a little-known countryside museum, unless the Danish Ministry of Culture hadn't launched an international design competition for construction of its extension in 2001. Zaha Hadid won it and transformed the museum into the world-renowned destination. Even the distance from the downtown, covered by train, bus and on foot along a woodland path seems to be a bonus, as the museum offers a memorable art and cultural experience in quiet, natural settings. Hadid's black volume of the new extension is in perfect balance with the historic building and melts seamlessly into the surrounding landscape. The museum café offers good fusion cuisine, while trees and wooden flowers seem like a live and vibrant painting behind its vast windows. Every detail of the museum and the café is a well thought out and elaborate designer work. Ordrupgaard gives a great chance to savor a delightful, relaxing day while visiting Copenhagen, suitable both aged couples and youngsters.
A nearby private home of the outstanding Danish architect, designer and a representative of Danish Modern movement, Finn Juhl, has become a part of the museum as well now and is a must see spot for aficionados of the 20th century design.
Keywords: Copenhagen, museum