The Shard in London is soon-to-be knocked out of first for the tallest skyscraper in Europe. A recently announced skyscraper will see the Shard and raise it 10.4 meters…literally. The proposed 320-meter skyscraper will soar over the surrounding countryside of Brande, Denmark.
If you’ve never heard of Brande, you aren’t alone. The town in rural Jutland is home to only about 7,000 people but it’s also the home to Bestseller, a Danish clothing company founded in 1975. The new skyscraper, named the Tower and Village project will be the company’s new home when completed. The project has been designed by the Dorte Mandrup architectural studio.
‘It will be a landmark that places Brande on the map,’ said Anders Krogh Vogdrup, Bestseller’s head of construction and he isn’t wrong. ‘For more than 30 years, we have been very happy to have our home in Brande, and we feel we are a natural part of the local community,’ said Krogh Vogdrup, who thinks the building will ‘give something back to the town.’
Due to its rural location, the tower will be visible from about 40 miles away, which has led to some snarky cartoons released in Danish papers. One from Rokokoposten, a satirical news source similar to The Onion, quoted Sauron from the Lord of the Rings trilogy saying: ‘I have offered to finance a major interactive art installation in the form of a blazing eye at the very top of the building.’
The tower will vary from usual skyscrapers in more than just its location. With 23-feet ceilings, the skyscraper will only have 45 floors. Most of the world’s tallest buildings, however, have only about 16-feet ceilings making the tall, thin building even more stretched.
Plans for the skyscraper have received the approval from Brande city council. Mayor Ib Lauritsen said in a radio interview that plans for the tower have ‘not raised any concerns or resistance from any of our municipal council board members.’ For Anders Holch Povlsen, owner of Bestseller and Denmark’s richest man, he hopes that the skyscraper will become an attraction. ‘The plan is born out of the passion and interest for architecture and a vision of creating a unique building that matches the unique setup of a rethought headquarter,’ he said.
Despite what Morten Dickmann, a local newspaper reporter, telling The Guardian that ‘[i]t’s hard to find anybody here who is opposed to the tower,’ and that he, along with other Danish folks, ‘thinks it’s a fantastic idea,’ there is some resistance. An Aarhus-based architect named Trine Kammer is one of those who thinks differently from Dickmann. Though she doesn’t live in Brande, Kammer’s boyfriend does and she feels that ‘[p]eople in Brande are so afraid to criticise Bestseller. It’s like a religion or something.’ Kammer believes that the skyscraper will change the ‘feeling’ of Brande.