The Northernmost House: Fogo Island Artist Studios by

Issue 20 · The Northern Light · May 15, 2012

The Northernmost House: Fogo Island Artist Studios

Issue 20 · The Northern Light · May 15, 2012

The shoreline of Fogo Island in Newfoundland, Canada, is dotted with geometric forms; not just the dramatic rocky outcrops, but also the studios that four visiting artists call their home for three to six months. It's enough to make us consider a career change—or at least a change in our vacation plans.

That's exactly what Fogo Island local Zita Cobb and her Shorefast Foundation are hoping. Part of an effort to revitalize the struggling fishing-based economy of Fogo Island through arts and cultural tourism, Shorefast's Fogo Island Arts Corporation Residency Program aims to bring contemporary artists to live and work on Fogo Island. The foundation commissioned Norway-based architect Todd Saunders, a Newfoundland native, to design six artist studios; four are completed and occupied. In addition to offering arresting views, the studios combine a sensibility for local woodworking traditions with contemporary design, ecological sensitivity, and green-building standards.

The next open call for the artist residency placement is 2013; but for architecture voyeurs, the 29-room Fogo Island Inn, also by Saunders Architecture, has broken ground and is scheduled to open by the end of 2012. Photos via Fogo Island Arts Corporation and Saunders Architecture.

NB: Watch this video for a quick Fogo Island Artist Studio Tour.

Above: The Long Studio includes a porch protected from the elements.

Above: The porch is painted white to reflect light, in contrast to the studio's black exterior.

Above: The interior of the Long Studio includes a kitchen space that can be concealed behind solid sliding doors.

Above: The Long Studio hovers on a series of stilts that lifts the structure above the ground to frame a view of the North Atlantic Ocean.

Above: Reminiscent of an iceberg, the Squish Studio is sited on the Eastern end of the island.

Above: The interior of the Squish Studio is a modest 30 meters square; each studio has a wood-burning heat source.

Above,: The Bridge Studio is dramatically located on a steep hillside overlooking the calm waters of an inland pond.

Above: A built-in desk in the Bridge Studio overlooks the pond.

Above: Construction has begun on the 29-room Fogo Island Inn which includes a restaurant, directed by one of Canada’s best chefs, together with a lobby, a library, a small movie theater, and an independent art gallery on the ground floor. Four levels of guest rooms will be located above the ground level, with a sauna and spa facility on the top of the building.



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