Elvira Ofelia Bergman-Coates

Architecture student, Entrepreneur, Builder

Elvira is a hands-on architect/student who started building full scale houses alongside her architectural studies at Aarhus School of Architecture. She has spent the last few years building what she drew for herself and guiding others along similar paths, in the pursuit of first trying her own designs, and then offering the findings to others. In using herself as a guinea pig, she challenges Scandinavian presumptions on square meter needs, insisting on living (with her family of 4) on 28m2 since 2018. Stressing that we in our part of the world need to consume less and reduce our gluttony for ressources; smaller builds is a way to achieve that as they require less material. Living with less room further equals only keeping things that actually serve a function. Elvira’s motto is quality before quantity; if you only need a few m2 of any material, the price of good quality might be affordable. If your living space is too small for all those nonsense things, you can spend your time on anything but choosing between 176 T-shirts.

Her train wagon Tiny House project led Elvira to like minded builders at Grobund Djursland, where she began building her latest project; a self built villa of 78m2. This was broadcasted on Danish national TV, made a front page and feature in the magazine Bolius, and participated in a fashion design campaign for Minimum Fashion.

Using her manner of living and building to showcase another take on the role of an architect, Elvira also has been lecturing at events like Tiny House Forum in Sweden, the New Rural Living conference of the Danish Association of Architects, the Building Festival (DK) and Grobund Højskole (DK).

Not every architect needs to be a handywoman/man but in taking part of every step of her architecture -as the person executing it- Elvira claims that close bonds between the different trades in the building industry are crucial and needs to be amplified. Passing forward methods to build small, contemplated and bio based throughout and beyond all building proffessions.

Learn more about Elvira and her projects on Instagram and LinkedIn.

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