COAST - Collective Architecture Studio
COAST is an architectural photography, research, and design studio based in Copenhagen. The studio explores the built environment and the entanglement of society and nature in coastal territories of the Anthropocene.

The work of COAST stands on three main pillars: Architectural photography, landscape photography, and research and design. Through architectural photography, the studio portrays the work of some the region's leading architectural practices and institutions and their oeuvre of novel solutions such as BIG, COBE, Herzog de Meuron, DAC, and Realdania. Through landscape photography, the studio engages in the territories surrounding the built environment with field reportages from territories in a state of criticality such as: the Danish West Coast and its state of post-naturalness, the pending ecological crisis of Miami, or the terrestrial degradation of Panamas indigenous population's archipelago. Through research and design, the studio combines aesthetic representations of photography with the qualities of the architectural drawing and engage in a variety of collaborations in practice and in academia. This has translated into such differentiated assignments as: a new design for the Viking Ship Museum extension in Oslo, Copenhagen Archipelago a speculative design proposal for a resilient climate protection plan, Via Nordica a cross-disciplinary study investigating the implication of tourism and infrastructure on the coastal ring road in Iceland, and SEACHANGE a research project exploring how the territorial hybrids, emerging through the entanglement of cultural and natural territories, may be represented and translated through mapping and photography.

A variety of approaches, media, and collaborators all gravitating towards the built environment. A collective architecture.

In the time of the Anthropocene, a geological epoch of humanity's co-creation, the distinction between what is natural and what is man-made has become increasingly vague as human and non-human actors redefine their natural habitats through increasingly complex networks of interactions. Landscapes perceived as natural are often constructs of humankind and what clearly is human-made is always rooted in a natural context; erasing the dichotomy between cultural and natural territories. A condition of territorial entanglement that creates a shift in how architectural and landscape-architectural strategies are both being formulated and communicated, and thus how they are to be represented.

To engage with such entanglements COAST argues that an aesthetic framing of the coastal territories may aid in identifying and understanding such bodies of complexity and assist in characterizing the complex hybrids emerging in the intersection between architecture and the environment. A condition particularly interesting in the coastal territory where urban fabric is superimposed dynamic landscapes, often disregarding the natural forces that remain to be the premise for human settlement; bringing to attention a lack of negotiation between dynamic territories and urban intervention.

COAST operates in the frontier of this entanglement. The ephemeral territories mediating land and sea, where the forces of nature and urbanization is most extreme and where their entanglements are particularly evident.

By combining the visual tools of architectural representation with photography the aim is for COAST to engage with the field of architecture through a multifaceted perspective, addressing not only the act of designing but also the need for its communication. The argument being: If everything is somehow manipulated, sustained or even constructed through technology, the architectural photograph becomes an important research tool in understanding and conveying the territories of our every day and their nature-culture entanglements. Addressing the need for a more distinct and adaptive coastal urbanism in the Anthropocene.

Collectively this constitutes the research foundation for COAST.  

Rasmus Hjortshøj Cand. Arch and PhD-Fellow is the founder of COAST. Through his career, Rasmus has worked as an architect in scales ranging between building scale and master planning scale. Designing projects from their initial design phase on to construction development. A role that through his career increasingly gravitated towards not just the design of architecture, but also the formulation and representation of architecture.

Since graduation from Aarhus School of Architecture in winter 2007, Rasmus has worked at RIBA award-winning 3XN Architects as part of the design team of The Danish National Aquarium. As planner and landscape architect For SLETH Architects part of the construction phase of the Copenhagen city expansion project 'Nordhavnen'. As senior architect and planner for COBE Architects - an internationally operating architecture firm specializing in building and planning design, awarded the Golden Lion at the 10th Venice Biennale - with notable projects such as Nydalen Oslo masterplan, Redmolen PFA building, and Nordhavnen urban design and master planning.

Through COAST Rasmus has exhibited and been published in a variety of books, magazines, and institutions gravitating around the field of architecture.

Rasmus is currently holding a position as Ph.D. Fellow in the Research Department of the Aarhus School of Architecture carrying out the research project SEACHANGE - Representing territories of the Post-Natural.

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COAST Studio
Skabelonloftet Rum 5
Refshalevej 167F
DK-1432 København K
CVR: 35347437 

Rasmus Hjortshøj
Founder, Architect, Photographer
Cand. Arch, PHD-Fellow
T: +45 22934889

Lucrezia Biasutti
Public Relations ,Cand. Arch
T: +45 20319708

Alessia Cacopardo
Student helper, Architect

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