»Show respect for and challenge the setting.«

Trä meets Todd Saunders

Norway-based architect Todd Saunders has been ranked one of the best in the world on several occasions. The signature for his work is the material he uses.

“When I look back on everything I’ve done over my career, 80 percent is built in wood.”

What do you like about the material?
“Wood is a forgiving material and it fits in well with the way I think and work. It’s easy to create interesting shapes and it’s easy to make changes afterwards. There are also many environmental advantages – I always use local timber as far as possible.”

You have ongoing projects in several very different countries, including Greece, Morocco, Turkey and Canada. How is wood seen as a construction material there?
“Like the Scandinavians, the Canadians love wood and there is a long tradition of using the material. In countries with no such tradition, such as Greece, there is also a positivity about building in wood. They treat wood as an exotic and luxurious material.”

What is the most important job of an architect?
“To create clear, strong and simple architecture. And to both challenge and show respect for the setting. That’s how I would sum up my works at least.”

You’re listed as one of the world’s leading architects!
“That’s a fine compliment, but I’m really down to earth and just try to work hard and focus on doing the best job on each new project. It would be more fun to be one of the world’s leading freestyle skiers, as that’s my favourite hobby.”

How do you find inspiration?
“By walking in the mountains, where I have time to think.”

Personalities that trä has met

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