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by Hugo Shackleton

Lonstrup, Denmark

featured in:

KAARK 41, 2022
Architecture & Climate Emergency, RIBA, 2021
Partners For A Sustainable Future, AAA, 2020
Klimafolkmodet, 2020


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A shifting landscape across planes large, small, physical and philosophical prompts discussion of the re-imagined and the novel.

'Landmark' is a piece of evolving infrastructure, designed to encapsulate the forces of coastal erosion in Lonstrup, Denmark.


In the coastal setting of Lønstrup, North-Western Jutland, the gentle undulation of the Danish countryside concedes abruptly to the raging chop of the North Sea. Lush farmland is replaced with sandy dunes, buckthorn and sheer cliff.

Animal rearing, swapped for a string of craftsmen’s ateliers. Glass blowers, painters, potters and jewellers gathered in the name of traditional workmanship attract tourists from all over the country and further afield.

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Just beyond, a popular coastal path leads away from the old jetty, up along the disappearing land’s edge of Vendsyssel, passed precarious summer houses awaiting their tumble to the beach some thirty meters below.

Edges lie unprotected, un-seamed, and threading their way erratically towards a silhouette in the horizon. Like farmhouse jutting through pastureland, here Rubjerg Knud lighthouse offers a break in the vast natural landscape and a visual relief in the search for scale.

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Unlike the threat of urbanisation faced by other parts of the rural world, here human settlement sits embedded in a colossal landscape of the natural kind. And the serene and docile appearance is but a front for the ruthless force of its changing constellation.

South-westerly winds have gradually eroded the soft clay/ sand composition of the cliffside up onto the surface and inland. In October 2019, the century old structure was moved seventy meters inland. By way of preservation, the move provokes commentary on an apparent failure. A failure to accept times’ passing.