“Copenhagen is not New York, and that's actually positive,” Karin Vestergård Madsen, the city's mayor for technology and the environment, said in a written comment to the decision, reported by the Politiken newspaper.
“We can certainly have some tall buildings when it makes sense, but there is no reason to build high for the sake of height alone.”
The 7.5 billion kroner (10.8 billion kronor, $1.1 billion) H.C. Andersen Tower, designed by the star Danish architecture firm BIG, would have easily trumped the Turning Torso's 190 metre height.
A comparison of the tower's height with The Shard in London and the Turning Torso. Photo: H.C Andersen Adventure Tower
Its top floors would have featured an observation tower, and it would have included a hotel, office space, residential space and an indoor theme park.
The idea was to position it right next to the quay where cruise ships come in to vist Copenhagen, guaranteeing a steady stream of tourists.
The observation tower. Photo: H.C Andersen Adventure Tower
Kurt Immanuel Pedersen, the project's chief executive and founder, said the rejection had come as a surprise.
“It is disappointing and surprising after such a lengthy negotiation and the conclusion of a conditional purchase agreement with the municipality's own development company CPH City & Port Development, that the project should suddenly be rejected,” he said in a written statement.
He said he now aimed to restart discussions with Copenhagen city politicians to revive the project, possibly by reducing its height, but he admitted “it undeniably looks difficult”.
“We have not been dogmatic in the requirement for 280 metres,” he underlined. “If they say: 'You must design an H.C. Andersen Tower at 180 or 200 metres', we will look at it.”
Malmö's days as the city with Scandinavia's tallest building may be numbered nonetheless. The 320 metre Bestseller Tower in the Jutland town of Brande, was approved by the local town council in March.