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Wednesday, June 19, 2024

Røkke’s tower can’t save the seas

Norwegian industrialist Kjell Inge Røkke has been met with thumbs down from political leaders in the Oslo suburb of Bærum, who refused to approve his plan for a skyscraper at Fornebu. Now Røkke may take his plan elsewhere, or even out of Norway.

The building plans unveiled last year in the presence of Prime Minister Erna Solberg were not entirely well-received. Røkke’s staff promoted the building as the new headquarters for a new maritime research organization Røkke is funding  that’s supposed to save the world’s seas (Verdenshavene) from pollution and plastic. Critics noted that Røkke also stood to earn a lot of money on his investment by also leasing or selling space in the building for a hotel, offices and other commercial ventures. Still others called the building “Røkke’s Trump Tower,” and neighbours protested mightily.

Now it’s been scrapped, at least in its current 64-story version that would be around three times as high as any other building in Norway. Newspaper Bergens Tidende reported this week that Nina Jensen, the former head of WWF who now works for Røkke’s ocean research project, was meeting city officials in Bergen, raising speculation Røkke & Co may explore building the tower there. It may alternatively be scaled down and built after all adjacent to Røkke’s Aker complex at Fornebu. staff



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