Fogo island: a series of studio flats 'at the end of the world'

Todd Saunders designs a diffused arts centre, surrounded by nature

by Malcolm Clark
3 Love 2330 Visits

On Fogo Island, a spit of isolated land in the Atlantic Ocean in the Canadian Province of Newfoundland and Labrador, Norwegian architecture office Todd Saunders is actuating the “Arts Residency Program”, a plan for building a new “diffused” art centre, six houses spread out over the island as well as a five star hotel.

Bridge Studio, Tower Studio, Squish Studio, Long Studio are the names of these modern refuges, of different sizes and levels of comfort, but all characterised by a harmonious relation with the landscape. These architectures recall elements of the island's typical architecture, from the boathouses to the salt stores, but unlike them, they open towards the landscape.

The white painted interiors welcome natural light through great windows and the rather basic and minimal layout collaborates in avoiding any visual distractions in the perception of the external environment. The nature surrounding these small architectural units, blown by the winds and surrounded by the freezing cold water of the Atlantic is a surprising one.

The work, financed by the Fogo Island Arts Corporation, aims at exploiting the small Canadian island, inhabited by only 2,700 people, as a resource for tourism. The economy of this area was once based entirely on the fishing industry, but now the downturn of economic trends are making it necessary to seek new resources.

The Fogo Island Arts Corporation proposes a complex development model which seeks to incorporate the beauty of wild nature with the capacity for attracting art, focussing on sustainable development. The international residence programme, which can be applied for from any part of the world, allows you to spend a few months in what looks like an out-of-the-way retreat, but in reality is increasingly connected to major international artistic circuits.

Bridge Studio 21

Bridge Studio

Deep Bay, Fogo , Newfoundland / Canada / 2011

Tower Studio 29

Tower Studio

Newfoundland, Fogo Island / Canada / 2011

Squish Studio 50

Squish Studio

Newfoundland, Fogo Island / Canada / 2011

Long Studio 84

Long Studio

Fogo Island / Canada / 2008