This stunning art studio on Fogo Island doesn't blend into its wild and wooly location, but it's not supposed to. Commissioned by the Shorefast Foundation in order to foster care and respect for the fragile but merciless northern landscape, this is just one of three art studios designed by Canadian architect Todd Saunders. The long studio uses construction methods and materials that are endemic to this remote island in Newfoundland, enabling winter-time prefabrication in a local workshop. Absolutely brimful of light, the long studio is a showcase of the best in beautiful, simple, and sustainable architecture.
Despite being incredibly remote, Fogo Island is still susceptible to human impact. The Shorefast Foundation is eager to protect both the dynamic, rough natural surroundings without disrupting an entrenched fishing culture.
Construction materials and methods reflect a longstanding local architectural tradition. The sharp geometric box sits aboveground, but is rooted in place by a small concrete foundation. This allows for pre-fabrication in a workshop during the harsh winter months, with a spring installation to follow. It also ensures that this design can be incorporated anywhere on the island – regardless of terrain.
Large windows and a skylight allow an influx of beautiful natural light, as well as a sense of continuation with the dramatic exterior, and one deep wall (1m) was installed to set apart a storage area, toilets, and wash bins. Although the prefabricated design was supposed to contrast with the landscape, it is also a gentle addition that allows the artists to soak up their majestic surroundings without harming it.