Unique architectural projects are often seen as ways of boosting tourism. If that's true, then visitors may soon be pouring into the small Danish town of Brande (pop. ~7,000). Last month the local city council approved a 1,049-foot (320-meter) skyscraper that Danish clothing giant Bestseller hopes to build in the little town.
When finished, the super-tall building in the middle of nowhere would be among the tallest in Western Europe, reaching higher than both the British Shard (1,016 feet) and the German Commerzbank Tower (850 feet). The Eiffel Tower, standing at 1,063, is still taller.
Bestseller's brands like Vero Moda, positioned at young career women, and Jack & Jones, which attempts to reach a younger demographic through sponsoring an esports team, are common in Europe. The company was founded in 1975 in Brande by Troels Holch Povlsen, it is now owned by his son, Anders Holch Povlsen, whose wealth Forbes estimates at $7.9 billion. Povlsen is also the single biggest shareholder in online shopping company Asos.
“It will be a landmark that places Brande on the map,” said Anders Krogh Vogdrup, head of constructions for Bestseller, according to The Guardian.
“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,” Krogh Vogdrup said when the tower was first announced. The idea was is “to give something back to the town.” The building was designed by the Copenhagen-based Ramboll Group. Construction is expected to begin this year and finish by 2023.
Surrounded by a flat, rural landscape, Bestseller Tower would be visible from around 40 miles away. Visitors to nearby Legolandm as well as those exploring Denmark's historic roots in Jelling, the royal seat of Harald Bluetooth, will be able to see the country's latest seat of power towering in the distance.
The plan appears to be popular within the town. “It will undoubtedly be of the greatest significance for the city of Brande, but I do not doubt it will affect the whole of Central Jutland,” said Ib Lauritsen, the mayor of Ikast-Brande, speaking to Danish broadcaster DR.
And it's not just the mayor gushing. “It’s hard to find anybody here who is opposed to the tower. Everybody thinks it’s a fantastic idea, and me too,” says Morten Dickmann, a reporter for the local newspaper, to The Guardian. “The Danish news media tried hard to find someone opposed, but they couldn’t find anyone.” Local socialist politicians like Anders Udengaard, who have in the past has criticized Bestseller for its ability to influence the local municipality, conceded that “there really is no opposition" to the project.
The building is expected to house retail shops for Bestseller's wide variety of clothing brands, as well as offices and a high-rise hotel with a conference center.
”It’s a really exciting project where we’ll be responsible for all design engineering and design management, giving us a super opportunity to display our full capabilities across Buildings in Denmark, but also internationally,” said Kenneth Kjærgård Jørgensen, head of the Department for Industrial Buildings for Ramboll, back when the project was first conceived in 2017. “As part of the project, we will make use of our strong international expertise in high-rise buildings, and draw on specialists from Singapore, Dubai, London and Glasgow.”
Polvsen has taken a special interest in rural areas. Last year, he and his wife became Scotland’s largest private landowners with a massive purchase of rural highlands. The two say they aim re-wilding the area, letting the natural state of Scottish land re-assert itself. In other words, the exact opposite of what's planned in Brande.
Source: The Guardian
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