Ordrupgaard was designed by the architect Gotfred Tvede (1863-1947) and built in the years 1916-1918. The extensive park was laid out at the same time.
Together the buildings make up a fine complex where the style, materials and spatiality of each building are carefully matched to its function. The buildings are incorporated in their surroundings and offer good insight into the ideals that prevailed in this part of the stately architecture of the age, influenced at once by the rural and the exotic.
Ordrupgaard was laid out as an exclusive country house with an accompanying gallery. Besides the main building, homes were built for the landscape gardener and the chauffeur, as well as a garage, which today houses the museum café. The fine woodshed and the fairytale gingerbread house make up the remaining buildings in the park area.
Originally Ordrupgaard was to serve exclusively as the Hansen family’s summer home. Along the way, though, Wilhelm Hansen changed his plans, perhaps because the now ample collection required larger premises; but the green surroundings and Henny Hansen’s interest in flora and fauna undoubtedly also played a role.
On 14 September 1918 home and collection were both inaugurated with a great banquet.