saunders architecture: fogo island inn
original content
feb 14, 2013
saunders architecture: fogo island inn

‘fogo island inn’ by saunders architecture, fogo island, canada
image courtesy of fogo island inn



fogo island is an easily overlooked spec of ice located in the subarctic region off the coast of newfoundland, landlocked by a frozen sea of ice
in the winter while flowering with berries in the summer, a landscape that has remained relatively unchanged for thousands of years;
it is ‘far away from far away.’ its inhabitants are deeply entrenched in the seaward culture of the rock, including retired fibre-optics
businesswoman zita cobb who, shortly after returning home, created the shorefast foundation to organize and fund projects that will
revitalize the small ‘outport’, making it a hub for artists and eco-tourists around the world. so far her endeavors have led to the creation
of several artists’ studios located in various spots, including the tower studio, bridge studio, squish studio, and long studio all designed
by canadian-born architect todd saunders of saunders architecture. none of these, however, can compare to the scale of her current
project being carried out by the same architect. the 29-room ‘fogo island inn‘ situated on a promontory off the northern side of the small
land mass will contain over 40,000 square feet of program spread out over five stories, and although it is said to cost a cool $500 per night,
it is already revered as one of the must-see places of a lifetime, beginning in november when it is scheduled to open to the public.


wood is the primary construction material used, reflecting the vernacular traditions it also leaves a certain respect to the landscape that
in many ways holds a much larger significance than any structure built on it could ever have. the massing consists of two oblong
rectangular volumes, stacked at a slightly different angle to form an X. this greatly reduces the direct impact on the site while still providing
the necessary area without creating a massive construct that sits completely out of scale with the context. the ground floor is reserved for
a restaurant led by one of canada’s highest ranked chefs, the main lobby, library, movie theater and independent art gallery, followed by
four levels of individual rooms, and a spa and sauna facility on the rooftop enjoying views over the sea and island.


video preview of todd saunders’ work on fogo island
video © site media inc



image courtesy of fogo island inn



image courtesy of fogo island inn



image courtesy of fogo island inn



under a clear night sky



in front of the northern lights



image courtesy of saunders architecture



image courtesy of fogo island inn



the white wooden envelope is painted with the various colors of the sky, ocean, and snow
image courtesy of fogo island inn



image courtesy of fogo island inn



scaffolding over the white-painted wooden planks
image courtesy of fogo island inn



array of solar panels on the southern elevation
image courtesy of fogo island inn



tall columns that support the overhanging volume
image courtesy of fogo island inn



wood cladding
image courtesy of fogo island inn



image courtesy of saunders architecture

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