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Natural Shapes and Newly Fallen Snow – Architecture Through the Eyes of Pål Ross

Interview with the architect Pål Ross

ARITCO MEETS ARCHITECT Pål Ross

In a series of interviews, we meet renowned architects and designers. Pål Ross has designed Sweden’s most beautiful villa and creates dream homes with a distinct character and style. “I’ve come to realize that life is not square, and neither is nature. Therefore, it is obvious to me that our living spaces should not be square either”, he explains.

The magnific creations of Pål Ross impress many. In season two of Swedish TV show ”Grand Designs” which premieres on channel TV4 in November of 2021, one of the 300+ dream homes that Pål has created over the last two decades is presented. His houses have three things in common: their shape, color, and that a home lift is always included in the design. Pål tells us about the need for both body and soul to feel good in a home, why all his houses have round shapes and his ambitious environmental goals.

Coverphoto: Design©️Pål Ross, Fotograf Filmby Studios

Hi Pål. Which three words encapsulate architecture to you?

“It is more than three words, but our slogan is ‘Live in a work of art’”.

Which tool can you not live without?

”Zest for living. You have to feel a passion for creating. When I work on a project, I imagine myself in the lives of the people who are to live there. The house should bring them a desire for and joy of living.”

Tell us about a creation that you are particularly proud of.

”Every project is created for an individual client, which makes all of them unique and fantastic. But an example is Villa Viktor in Östersund which was named Sweden’s most beautiful villa in 2009, and in 2014 was prized internationally as the “Best Single Residence, Sweden”. The villa also received a building preservation award from the local history society of the Jämtland region for its anchoring to our architectural historical and cultural heritage. This despite being such a modern building. It brings me joy that they notice the traditional handcrafts, materials, and proportions that I work very actively with. I like timeless projects which work both today, yesterday and in the future. Achieving that, you cover quite a timespan.”

Do you have a dream project in architecture that you would like to make reality

”It would be very interesting to create a fully self-sufficient biosphere in a home. And we are quite close. We have made some zero energy houses with the possibility to recycle water, but to make it fully circular, you will need to make plantations available in the house. We have started working on this a bit in our newest project”, Pål reveals.

Pic: Pål Ross interviewed by Aritco (Jan. 2020).

What is always part of the process when you are drawing up a building?

”I create homes for living in, and it is always essential to use materials which do not provoke allergies or illnesses. There are materials in construction which are not fit for homes, but are used nonetheless. A healthy building will always work for you. If you are lucky enough to grow old, you will probably not want to move out of a home that you feel rooted and safe in. But homes with multiple floors can be tough to move around in and make use of the full area. That is why I always include a residential elevator in my designs.”

”It is also an absolute necessity to create a home that you want to be in, where you can live and thrive in. Where your interests are cultivated. You can build a gym, but you must also want to use it. The gym should be a place where the soul feels like it belongs. Kind of like cooking healthy food for your children that they both feel inclined to eat and that tastes good. Both body and soul need to feel good in the home.”

Your buildings have a characteristic look with round shapes and often a white finish. How come?  

“I’ve come to realize that life is not square, and neither is nature. If nature has made everything non-square, it is obvious to me that our living spaces should not be square either. The rounded façade captures elements of the outdoor environment, making indoor and outdoor more interwoven, eliminating the boundaries. This adds both function and experience.”

”We appreciate the white colors in Sweden, a trend that started in 1996. There was a longing for the light. Newly fallen snow that has not been stepped on makes me happy. That is a feeling that I want to bring with me. Inside the house, however, I appreciate darker floors and carpets. They bring a touch of color to the white walls.”

“Our organic shaping creates playful shadows as the walls are not completely straight. This adds vitality. These buildings are made in white as it is an unusually fruitful color to work with. It has attitude and is timeless. The physical environments that we build around us need to make us feel alive, make us feel joy about being where we are”, Pål Ross concludes.

Pic: Design©️Pål Ross, Fotograf Filmby Studios

Aritco interviews architects and designer

In a series of interviews we are meeting with renowned architects and designers. Follow us on Facebook and Instagram for info when more blog posts are published! See below links for published interviews.

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