Danish Architecture
May 28, 2019 5:08 AM   Subscribe

Western Europe’s tallest skyscraper will be visible from 60km away, unimpeded by much in the way of other buildings, because it's going to be in the middle of the Danish countryside. Elsewhere in the land of Lego and Scandi Noir, buildings grow from fjords, resemble icebergs, recycle, out-lean Pisa, get wavey, look spiky, express themselves, and capture clouds. Danish architecture is on the rise: today, Copenhagen; yesterday, and tomorrow, the world.
posted by rory (24 comments total) 21 users marked this as a favorite
 
It's worth noting that the Bestseller skyscraper in Brande, at 320m, will only be Western Europe's tallest if a 381m skyscraper in the Swiss village of Vals fails to be built. Fortunately for Brande, that project appears to have faltered.
posted by rory at 5:09 AM on May 28


Previously
posted by grahamparks at 6:14 AM on May 28 [1 favorite]


Fast fashion is a leading source of ocean plastic
posted by The Whelk at 6:24 AM on May 28 [4 favorites]


I wouldn't be surprised if Anders Holch Povlsen has changed his priorities a bit since the Bestseller plans were announced. (previously) That would leave the building planned for the bus terminus next door to where I live in the running for Europe's (for certain definitions of Europe) tallest building.

Olafur Eliasson's Fjordenhus is a pretty amazing building. The complicated play of light on the forms and the detail in the brickwork need to be appreciated on site.
posted by St. Oops at 6:39 AM on May 28 [3 favorites]


We have a TV/radio transmission tower taller than London's Shard close to where I live. It is, strictly speaking, the tallest free-standing building in the UK, although it doesn't get the credit for it because it's not in London and you can't go up it unless you work for the radio company (or you're really lucky!).

Anyway, because it's set in a rural area and it isn't surrounded by any other buildings whatsoever, you can see it for miles. I can see it out of my window, it pops up in the landscape in unexpected places, you'll walk round a corner and it'll be there, at the end of the street or poking up above a building or a hill.

However, a radio mast serves a useful purpose, unlike this apparent vanity project by the fashion billionaire.
posted by winterhill at 6:42 AM on May 28 [2 favorites]


There's some beautiful architecture linked here - I love the glacier development - but why the living fuck would you build a tower like that in a small rural town. I don't give a damn about the vibe of the village, but you're basically creating car commuters. Way to piss on the environment - but yeah - no surprise from a fast fashion firm. What are they planning to put in it?? People or jobs? Either way your creating commuters.
posted by latkes at 6:44 AM on May 28 [7 favorites]


I wouldn't be surprised if Anders Holch Povlsen has changed his priorities a bit since the Bestseller plans were announced.

The poor guy, that's terrible.

But I agree that the rural skyscraper is a pretty poor idea, despite the amusing visualisations with sheep around them. It's only marginally less annoying than the Vals proposal. I tried searching for "rural skyscraper" as part of my research for this post, and the pickings are slim for a reason.

Olafur Eliasson's Fjordenhus is a pretty amazing building.

I'd love to see it, and any of the others I've linked here—the only one of these that I've seen, despite having visited Denmark, is the most famous piece of Danish architecture in the world... in Sydney.
posted by rory at 6:55 AM on May 28


The poor guy, that's terrible.

Yeah, I hope I didn't come off as flippant. He's dealing with an immense personal tragedy.
posted by St. Oops at 7:02 AM on May 28


I don't understand the demographics of this. Isn't the capacity of that tower far in excess of the 7000 people who live in the surrounding town? Are they expecting a lot of inbound commuters? I understand the resistance to the tower in terms of aesthetics, but the influx of commuters seems like the bigger impact. (The flip-side of that, of course, being that they don't fill the tower and have to tear it down in 10 years.)
posted by He Is Only The Imposter at 7:04 AM on May 28


All the amazing potential for cool, beautiful architecture and they choose this stack of boxes?
posted by Jon_Evil at 7:07 AM on May 28 [1 favorite]


I don't understand the demographics of this.

Agreed, HIOTI. The linked articles seem interested almost exclusively in the appearance of the tower, but surely there are big questions around transport, parking, sewage, waste management, local property prices, nearby developments etc.? I personally quite like the aesthetics of a rural skyscraper, but it's not going to be an empty monolith - it's 60,000 m2 of office and retail space. Spread that same area out flat, imagine it filled with people and the impact is a lot more obvious.
posted by Busy Old Fool at 7:11 AM on May 28


but you're basically creating car commuters.

Brande has a train station and bus services to nearby cities. Denmark is small, so the distances involved to said cities is probably smaller than for many US suburbs regardless.
posted by Dysk at 7:15 AM on May 28 [7 favorites]


OK, a few more interesting examples of Danish architecture.
Superkilen. A "park" in Copenhagen.
Enghøj Church. By Henning Larsen.
The Lego House. In Billund, by BIG.
posted by St. Oops at 7:16 AM on May 28 [1 favorite]


That "grow" link is beautiful in a way a lot of the others aren't.
posted by Leon at 7:43 AM on May 28 [1 favorite]


I don't understand the demographics of this. Isn't the capacity of that tower far in excess of the 7000 people who live in the surrounding town? Are they expecting a lot of inbound commuters? I understand the resistance to the tower in terms of aesthetics, but the influx of commuters seems like the bigger impact. (The flip-side of that, of course, being that they don't fill the tower and have to tear it down in 10 years.)--He Is Only The Imposter

It isn't just commuting. Some people don't want to commute, and that is going to destroy the home values in the area. The locals with houses are set for life, otherwise, they quickly become priced out and homeless.

That, in short, is what is happening to the entire SF Bay Area, where they are building many story office buildings all over the place and are not building the equivalent amount of housing, so housing prices and homelessness goes up and up....
posted by eye of newt at 8:14 AM on May 28


Brande's not exactly tiny and rural. It's got the colossal Siemens-Gamesa wind turbine nacelle plant.
posted by scruss at 8:23 AM on May 28 [3 favorites]


There was a similar proposal a few years ago near me - a 1000+ foot tall building built where the 2nd tallest building was 4 stories and the city had less than 50,000 inhabitants. Fortunately saner brains came to the table at some point and it's now just ad copy in the dustbin of history.
posted by The_Vegetables at 9:24 AM on May 28


The Fjordenhus (down in the links) is really cool.
posted by carter at 9:51 AM on May 28 [1 favorite]


Moving back to Copenhagen next month, I'm looking forward to re-discovering the local architecture, culture, food, cinema, etc.
posted by growabrain at 10:22 AM on May 28


Frank Lloyd Wright proposed rural skyscrapers as a kind of uber-suburb, concentrating the 'urban' services in 1 tall building and leaving the land around it free for people to live on 1 acre each.
posted by signal at 11:32 AM on May 28 [1 favorite]


When did the curvy line area in Mimers Plads happen? I used to climb at Nørrebrohallen, right next to Superkilen, and I remember the red and green areas but not the wavy white lines at all.

I think I last regularly went to that area about three years ago, but I am also sometimes unaware of my surroundings so maybe the lines were there after all..
posted by nat at 1:36 PM on May 28


I have a close friend living in a penthouse apartment in the iceberg building linked above. The view is stupendous, and he reports daily seeing porpoises (arguably the cutest whales) in the Aarhus harbour.
posted by bouvin at 3:24 AM on May 29 [3 favorites]


Looks like it was designed in Minecraft.
posted by adept256 at 8:32 AM on May 29


Looks like it was designed in Minecraft.
Maybe it was

To be honest, even before the tragedy happened to the Holck family, I didn't think the tower would be built, because it would be crazy to have such and expensive and pointless building just standing there. Even though they planned to move all their activities in Denmark there, plus some other related functions, there is still way too much empty space. The stated plan was to move some educational institutions there, but why would they move from better and cheaper spaces in larger towns to Brande, in the middle of nowhere? Now, I just heard that all the architects who were working on the project have moved to another office.

Dorte Mandrup (the architect behind the tower), has made beautiful buildings, I think this is my favorite. The interior design, added after these photos were taken, it very good too.
posted by mumimor at 10:04 AM on May 29 [1 favorite]


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