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Meet Erla Dögg Ingjaldsdóttir and Tryggvi Thorsteinsson of Minarc Group in Santa Monica

Today we’d like to introduce you to Erla Dögg Ingjaldsdóttir and Tryggvi Thorsteinsson.

Erla and Tryggvi, can you briefly walk us through your story – how you started and how you got to where you are today.
Drawing on our unique background from Iceland, in which harsh climatic conditions and striking nature require daily navigation, we have always been passionate about sustainable practices and architecture that highlights what’s outside in our natural surroundings while promoting warmth and socializing inside. We use what we know, where we came from, and what we understand. Before starting a project, we also look at what every individual site gives us through methods such as wind studies and sun studies to truly understand the property prior to devising our plan.

Overall, has it been relatively smooth? If not, what were some of the struggles along the way?
Like life, nothing is ever smooth nor do we feel it should be. We embrace the experiences in which we can learn from and continue to evolve and grow as individuals and within our companies.

Alright – so let’s talk business. Tell us about Minarc Group – what should we know?
Our work ranges from small-scale renovations to new construction in residential, commercial, and public settings. Each project shares an emphasis on the blurring of the distinction between interior and exterior spaces through the exploitation of natural light, the creation of outdoor living rooms, and artistically framed views of nature. We are most proud of our environmental approach to all that we do, always trying to find new use out of old materials. This drives our choice of materials, such as the absence of paint, tiles, and carpet, as well as our energy-conscious use of cross-ventilation in place of artificially forced air systems. Our materials range from reclaimed wood to recycled glass and rubber tires to cement panels. Most recently, we designed a sink called the ReFlow that allows for the water to be reused by repurposing the greywater from washing your hands to flush the toilet. This provides the opportunity of using only one plumbing system while focusing on the continuous conservation of water.

Any shoutouts? Who else deserves credit in this story – who has played a meaningful role?
We are only as good as the people we surround ourselves with. We feel so fortunate to work so closely with our team and be amongst creative minds that endlessly inspire us.

Contact Info:


Image Credit:

Project + project photography – Art Gray Photography; Erla/Tryggvi portrait – Marta Elena

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