Meet Liz Eva Tøllefsen

Less than three weeks ago I left my rain jacket and coarse bread in Norway, and headed to Madrid, while several of Ecosistema Urbano workers moved to Hamar. It is a curious exchange, indeed.

Here I will be Ecosistema Urbano’s Norwegian worker through the dreamhamar project. I am the office “guide” to navigating the Norwegian cultural landscape. I speak Norwegian, Spanish and English.

I have a master’s degree in architecture from the Bergen School of Architecture, studied a semester at the ESAP in Porto, Portugal, in addition to  practice in Norwegian architect firms and municipalities. Through studies and work, I have immersed myself in rural and  urban development, including graduate work in northern Norway and a school project in southern China.

Right now, I am in the process of translating the preliminary design phase of the new Stortorget Square into English and Norwegian, and both the English and Norwegian versions will soon be found on the blog, so everyone can follow the work regardless of where they live!

Today I would like to share with you some thoughts about my new surroundings. Unlike the single house dwelling, which is the dominant buildings in Norway,  most of Madrid’s residents live in small apartments, some with windows facing the backyard. Life is not lived at home, but outside- at work, in the park and the neighboring café, whether it rains or snows. And boy, does it get hot here! All travel guides on Madrid warned me in advance to stay away from the city in July and August, when people try to avoid going out at noon because of the heat. There have been days when you would rather seek refuge in museums or other well-cooled rooms than anything else. Then, in the evening the city becomes alive again. People crowd the streets, and enjoy the many sites and parks. You can hear the buzz of laughter mixed with the happy cry of children as glasses clink untill sleep takes over. I wonder, if perhaps the way people use the public places here is transferable to Hamar. What do you think?

If you want to publish something on this blog, need some help navigating, or have an idea to share with us, please send us an email to, or use the Contact field at the top of the blog. I would love to see many Norwegian contributions on the blog!