Daniele Myrhaug believes that modern architecture is too colourless and does not feel that regulations should place too many limitations on design language. “It makes you wonder what it might do to us if we were to grow up in a grey environment where everything is the same,” says the architect.
Where did you train?
“I went to university in Rio and became a qualified architect and urbanist, which is an urban planner, in 2004. I subsequently landed a job as a trainee with a large American company in Brazil and worked with heavy architecture, as part of which, among other things, I designed gas plants and associated structures for several locations in South America.”
You grew up in Brazil and trained as an architect back home before moving to Norway, what was the reason for this?
“I grew up in a poor family in a working-class area outside of Rio de Janeiro and I wasn’t particularly old before I realised how my surroundings affected me. I found myself irritated by little things like the pavements being too damaged for people to push a pram and there being lots of litter on the streets.
I became more and more aware of how basic infrastructure could help influence quality of life. At the same time, my mother always said that the only way out of poverty was through education and it was completely natural for me to choose to study architecture.”
But you then ended up in Norway, how did that happen?
“I heard about Aker Solutions in Oslo and that they were looking for an architect and I was tempted. They needed an architect to design offshore living quarters and, as there weren’t all that many people with my background around, I ended up getting the job.
I moved to Norway, on my own, at the age of 28 and worked for Aker Solutions for ten years. I couldn’t speak any Norwegian, so it was a major plus that Aker Solutions undertake their work internationally and use English as their main language.”
The transition from a poor area of Brazil to Oslo and later Kristiansand sounds like a major one?
“Yes, this is true, but it’s been fine. I met my husband in Oslo but he is from Kristiansand. We moved to his home town in 2010 and I was lucky enough to be able to continue working for Aker Solutions in Kristiansand.
I largely designed offshore living quarters but, after a while, I realised I wanted to try my hand at land-based architecture. It started with a few projects for people I knew and has grown to include more and more.
In 2016 I decided to take my experiences with me and move on. I left Aker Solutions and started my Alma Eik journey.”