The Tallest Skyscraper in Europe Is Strangely Rising Above a Teeny, Tiny Town in Denmark

The rural skyscraper will be visible from almost 40 miles away.

A rendering of Bestseller's Tower and Village project in Brande, Denmark, which is set to become the tallest building in Europe. Image courtesy of Dorte Mandrup/Bestseller.
A rendering of Bestseller's Tower and Village project in Brande, Denmark, which is set to become the tallest building in Europe. Image courtesy of Dorte Mandrup/Bestseller.

Who says size doesn’t matter? Brande, a tiny town in Denmark with a population of just 7,000, has announced plans to erect the tallest skyscraper in Europe, a 1,049-foot-tall behemoth rising as tall as Paris’s Eiffel Tower. Upon its completion, the building, dubbed the Tower and Village project, will dethrone the Shard in London.

The massive tower will serve as the headquarters for the Danish clothing company Bestseller, founded in 1975. The design is courtesy of the Danish firm Dorte Mandrup architects. Rambøll engineers, another Danish company, is also on board.

“It will be a landmark that places Brande on the map,” said Bestseller’s owner, Anders Holch Povlsen—the richest man in Denmark—in a statement. “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 hopes the tower will become an architectural attraction.

“The project has not raised any concerns or resistance from any of our municipal council board members,” Mayor Ib Lauritsen told Danmarks Radio.

A rendering of Bestseller's Tower and Village project in Brande, Denmark, which is set to become the tallest building in Europe. Image courtesy of Dorte Mandrup/Bestseller.

A rendering of Bestseller’s Tower and Village project in Brande, Denmark, which is set to become the tallest building in Europe. Image courtesy of Dorte Mandrup/Bestseller.

Because of its rural surroundings, the Bestseller headquarters will be visible from close to 40 miles away—making it an easy target for satirical Danish paper Rokokoposten. “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 paper quoted Sauron, the villain from the Lord of the Rings trilogy, as saying.

And despite approval of Brande city council, there are—not surprisingly—some voices of dissent in the community.

A rendering of Bestseller's Tower and Village project in Brande, Denmark, which is set to become the tallest building in Europe. Image courtesy of Dorte Mandrup/Bestseller.

A rendering of Bestseller’s Tower and Village project in Brande, Denmark, which is set to become the tallest building in Europe. Image courtesy of Dorte Mandrup/Bestseller.

“Such a big building will make the world claustrophobically small. Why do I have to be reminded of Bestseller when I’m walking by myself in a quiet wood?” local architect Trine Kammer told the Guardian, complaining that “people in Brande are so afraid to criticize Bestseller. It’s like a religion or something.”

And if you didn’t already think the effort was a headline-grabbing stunt, consider this: Despite its extreme height, the Tower and Village project will only feature 45 stories, at an average ceiling height of 23 feet. By comparison, notes Mother Jones, the world’s 100 tallest buildings average 16 feet per floor.


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