In pictures: Twelve stunning Scandinavian swimming pools

If you're going to own a swimming pool in a Nordic nation, you may as well do it with style. editor in chief Sara Norrman takes a look at some of Scandinavia’s most striking pools.

In pictures: Twelve stunning Scandinavian swimming pools editor Sara Norrman rounds up stome striking Scandinavian pools. Photo: SAP Stockholm AB

Having a swimming pool in a northern climate may seem like a major luxury, but in recent years it has become more and more common to invest in one. Some architects are now taking pools into consideration when drawing up their floor plan, while others look to integrate them into the garden.

Whether you’re thinking of building a private pool, or are simply fantasizing about taking a dip in 23-degree water while others shiver in the sea and lakes, have pulled together some inspiring examples. Check out the gallery of beautiful swimming pools below.

Enjoy the warmth

Neither Sweden, Norway or Denmark are known for their steady summer heat, but once it finally hits, a Nordic summer is absolutely stunning. In typical Danish fashion, the villa below has refused to ignore beautiful design, and instead moved Thomas Pedersen's iconic Stingray chair out to the pool. 

Photo: Spark by Thomas Pedersen
The Swedish pool below, meanwhile,  has the perfect combination of a seaside view from the comfort of warmer water.
Våra pooler och spabad
Photo: Pool Store Sverige AB
Asian touch
The firm Architecture by Lofti built this wonderful pool in Skåne in a way that family and friends could gather around it. The paving around the pool provides space for sun loungers, while the wall creates a beautiful sun-trap. Some scattered statues of Buddha and a pared-down garden gives the pool a kind of an exotic flair.
Villa in Falsterbo
Photo: Architecture by Lofti
Architectural dreams
In the splendid Villa Midgard in Stockholm, DAP architects were very keen to make the pool a natural part of their project. The result is below, with a facade covered in weathering steel, which will get rusty and stained with time and perfectly matches the deep green colour of the pool.
Photo: SAP Stockholm AB
Glittering darkness
With the right kind of light reflecting off a facade, pools can also look beautiful in the evening. The below house is located in Duvnäs, Stockholm.
Duvnäs Udde
Photo: Wrede Fastighetsmäkleri
Swimming with trees
In this villa in Rönninge, entrepreneur Elithus had to blast into the bedrock to achieve the right, floating feeling. Because of the chilly climate, the pool is only in use during the summer months, but when the weather is right the resident family often goes for a swim. The pool is made of concrete, while the deck is made of larch wood. Since the pool is located high above the ground, the family can feel like they are floating among the treetops during swims.
Photo: Elithus i Stockholm AB
Cool in Copenhagen
These home-owners wanted to modernize their 60s house, located at Solrød Strand, south of Copenhagen. Taking inspiration from their travels abroad, the owners wanted to create a pool area that was quiet and transparent. At the same time, they also wanted to hold on to the home's original style, combining classic 60s Danish architecture with influences from southern California and Miami.
60´er villa forvandlet til moderne poolhouse
Photo: NB Ark
Time to party
This Vaxholm paradise pool with a wooden deck allows guests to hang out by the water. On particularly sunny days, an awning unfolds and provides shade for the seats along the wall.
Våra pooler och spabad
Photo: Pool Store Sverige AB
The nature friendly pool
If you want a more natural feel in the garden, this Danish 'swimming lake’ (svømmesøn) may inspire. Less chemicals are used in the more natural pool, helping it to integrate into the garden and the surroundings. With its magical water mirror look, it somehow feels more Nordic than traditional azure blue pools.

Birkerød Svømmesø
Photo: Svømmesø.dk
Why swim in the ocean when you can swim above it?
In this awesome infinity pool in the Gothenburg area, you can enjoy the view while staying warm and comfortable. The pool and the large attached deck took three months to complete, following digging and blasting to prepare the foundations.
Pool Åsa
Photo: Ludwigs Pool & Badrum Bygg AB
Working with nature
The beautiful flat rocks around this house in Stockholm give the pool a coastal feel. This kind of steep and rocky landscape can be difficult to adapt for a garden, but the wooden deck works nicely with a swimming pool or a hot tub.
Våra pooler och spabad
Photo: Pool Store Sverige AB
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EXPLAINED: How to restructure and reduce your mortgage in Denmark

Denmark's unique borrowing system has enabled thousands of people to restructure their mortgages this year, cashing in on high interest rates which have caused a drop in market value of covered bonds. We explain how it all works and how you can potentially pay off a sum of your mortgage.

EXPLAINED: How to restructure and reduce your mortgage in Denmark

How does the mortgage system work in Denmark?

Denmark has a unique mortgage model, which is regarded as one of the best in the world.

When you take out a loan to buy a house in Denmark, the bank finances the loan through a covered bond [Danish:realkreditobligation,ed.] What makes the model unique is that you as the borrower know exactly what covered bond is issued to finance the loan.

“This direct link is very special to Denmark,”  Peter Jayaswal, executive director at Finans Danmark told The Local.

“You can follow what the market price is for the bond that is funding your loan in the capital market. A German borrower for example has a mortgage by the German bank issuing a loan using a covered bond. But there is no link, so the homeowner doesn’t know what the bond is.

“In Denmark, you can see it exactly. You can go onto your bank website everyday and follow the market price. That means that we have this early repayment system where I as a borrower am allowed to prepay my loan by buying back at market price the bond that has funded my loan,” Jayaswal explained.

When interest rates are increasing, it means that the price on the bonds is decreasing and this is why thousands of homeowners in Denmark have bought out their bonds this year, at a low market value and paid off a portion of their mortgage. 

READ ALSO: Interest rates encourage Danes to restructure mortgages

So how can I make this early repayment on my mortgage?

The first thing to do is to set up a meeting with your bank so they can assess whether you will benefit from the drop in bond value.

The market price of covered bonds is well documented in Danish media but you can also follow them on your bank’s website or by asking for an appointment with your bank to assess your current mortgage.

“You may at some point in the past have taken out a mortgage of 1 million kroner with a one percent fixed interest rate. To keep it simple, let’s say the loan is without amortisation.  When you took out this mortgage, the bond was issued at 99 kroner meaning that the nominal debt will be around 1,010,100 kroner to give a 1 million kroner revenue.

“Today you can see the interest rates have increased and the price on the bond financing your loan is say 80 kroner. As a borrower you can buy the bond in the market at market price and prepay the mortgage loan. But you only need to take out a new loan of around 808,000 kroner to do this.

“So you can take a new loan out at 808,000 kroner and use this to repay your existing loan and reduce your debt by around 200,000 kroner. This transaction can be done simultaneously by your bank, so you won’t end up with two loans,” Jayaswal told The Local.

What about interest rates on my mortgage?

The interest rate you get for your mortgage can be fixed or variable and they mirror the prices investors pay for the bonds. 

Fixed rate mortgage

Today, the fixed interest rate is five percent. This means that if you decide to buy your bond at the lower market value, you will have to take out a new loan at a higher interest rate.

“Using the example of reducing your mortgage by 200,000 kroner by buying the bond at a low market value, every month you are now paying an interest rate of five percent fixed term, rather than your one percent you had before. So you are paying more each month for the benefit of paying off a portion of your mortgage early and the benefits will decrease over time. 

“You usually break even after around ten to fourteen years but the bank will calculate this for you,” Jayaswal said.

“If you know you’re moving in two to three years, it makes sense to get a new loan with a higher interest rate because you’ll have to repay the loan anyway when you move. But if you think you’ll be in your home a long time, keeping this loan, then you need the interest rate to decrease in ten to fourteen years.

“And that’s the problem because we must be frank and say we can do all the forecasts but in the end no one knows what future interest rates will be, so it has to be the decision of the borrower,” Jayaswal explained.

Variable rate mortgage 

The other option is to take out a variable interest rate mortgage to buy the bond, which today is around three percent. However this carries a risk, as the interest rates are adjusted on a regular basis. F3 loans, for example, are adjusted every three years, while F5 loans have adjustments every five years.

“Changing from a fixed to variable interest rate, to reduce your debt and avoid an increase in interest rate, comes with a risk that you don’t have a fixed rate for 30 years, so you are more exposed and that’s very important be aware of,” Jayaswal told The Local.

On Monday, the company Totalkredit, the largest provider of real estate loans for private homes, auctioned flexible loans with resulting interest rates exceeding 3 percent on the F1, F3 and F5 loan types. That means the interest on these types of mortgages will be at their highest for several years.

According to Finans Danmark, Danish home owners have repaid 337 billion kroner of their mortgages in the first three quarters of 2022. Many of these home owners have chosen to switch to variable interest rates. You can swap back to a fixed-rate mortgage at any time but you also have to be aware that these rates may have increased by then too. 

How do I decide which option to take?

“I always say to people, feel free to go to your bank, ask them to make the calculations for you, so you have the foundation to make a decision”, Jayaswal says.

“Some might think a 30-year mortgage at a fixed rate of one percent is great, especially because today interest rate is five percent. Others won’t mind paying a five percent interest rate for a few years, because they want to reduce their debt today and believe interest rates will decrease. It is up to the borrower to decide.

“It’s not that one option is better than the other, it’s that you have opportunities and this is unique in Denmark,” Jayaswal said.