Todd Saunders, a native of Gander, Newfoundland and now based in Bergen, Norway, is responsible for the iconic architecture of the Fogo Island Arts studios. Situated at various locations on the island, each of the four studios is distinct in design. Anchored into a landscape of volcanic rock by steel legs, they range in size from two hundred to twelve hundred square feet and are one hundred per cent off the grid — equipped with compost toilets, solar powered electricity, wood-burning stoves and high speed internet. In addition to the implementation of ecological building systems, the environmental impact of the construction was minimized by the use of local materials, which were largely transported to the remote building sites by hand.

While the studios were built using materials intended to evoke vernacular building traditions in the region, Saunders’ structures look strikingly contemporary. The architect’s twenty-nine room Fogo Island Inn employs similar design strategies: the stilt legs holding up one end of the structure directly reference the fishing stages used for the salting and drying of cod that are seen throughout the Outport communities of Newfoundland. With both the studios and the Inn, Saunders uses architecture to express an essential fact about life in the region, in which dwellings create a strong bulwark and safe haven against constantly changing weather conditions.

The four Fogo Island Arts artist studios are:

Bridge Studio – Deep Bay, Fogo Island, Newfoundland
Squish Studio – Tilting, Fogo Island, Newfoundland
Tower Studio – Shoal Bay, Fogo Island, Newfoundland
Long Studio – Joe Batt’s Arm, Fogo Island, Newfoundland

For more information contact: [email protected]

Tower Studio