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Hunker Down

Todd Saunders’ Newfoundland “anti-hotel”

  • On a cold, damp night, the Inn is a welcoming beacon in the unforgiving Newfoundland landscape. (Photo: Alex Fradkin) 1 / 16  On a cold, damp night, the Inn is a welcoming beacon in the unforgiving Newfoundland landscape. (Photo: Alex Fradkin)
  • Chair, stove and well-glazed window at dusk. (Photo: Alex Fradkin) 2 / 16  Chair, stove and well-glazed window at dusk. (Photo: Alex Fradkin)
  • Winter can come: Snow storm on Fogo island. (Photo: Bent René Synnevåg) 3 / 16  Winter can come: Snow storm on Fogo island. (Photo: Bent René Synnevåg)
  • Lobby of the Inn with wood burning stove. (Photo: Alex Fradkin) 4 / 16  Lobby of the Inn with wood burning stove. (Photo: Alex Fradkin)
  • Saunders' Inn is hunkered down into the landscape. (Photo: Bent René Synnevåg) 5 / 16  Saunders' Inn is hunkered down into the landscape. (Photo: Bent René Synnevåg)
  • Bathroom, bedroom, sea. (Photo: Alex Fradkin) 6 / 16  Bathroom, bedroom, sea. (Photo: Alex Fradkin)
  • At night from the east. (Photo: Alex Fradkin) 7 / 16  At night from the east. (Photo: Alex Fradkin)
  • Bedroom with view out west to the Little Fogo Islands in the distance. (Photo: Alex Fradkin) 8 / 16  Bedroom with view out west to the Little Fogo Islands in the distance. (Photo: Alex Fradkin)
  • View from the east. (Photo Iwan Baan) 9 / 16  View from the east. (Photo Iwan Baan)
  • Sometimes the sun shines too. (Photo: Alex Fradkin) 10 / 16  Sometimes the sun shines too. (Photo: Alex Fradkin)
  • Looking up from the shoreline. (Photo: Alex Fradkin) 11 / 16  Looking up from the shoreline. (Photo: Alex Fradkin)
  • Fogo Island Inn dining room, view north-west out to the North Atlantic. (Photo: Alex Fradkin) 12 / 16  Fogo Island Inn dining room, view north-west out to the North Atlantic. (Photo: Alex Fradkin)
  • The Inn in morning mist, from the east. (Photo: Alex Fradkin) 13 / 16  The Inn in morning mist, from the east. (Photo: Alex Fradkin)
  • Third floor plan with typical bedroom layout. (Graphic: Saunders Architecture, courtesy Shorefast Foundation.) 14 / 16  Third floor plan with typical bedroom layout. (Graphic: Saunders Architecture, courtesy Shorefast Foundation.)
  • First floor plan, showing some of the public rooms, including the dining room at left and the gallery to the right. (Graphic: Saunders Architecture, courtesy Shorefast Foundation.) 15 / 16  First floor plan, showing some of the public rooms, including the dining room at left and the gallery to the right. (Graphic: Saunders Architecture, courtesy Shorefast Foundation.)
  • Site plan showing how the Inn is sited just below the north coast (centre top) with Fogo Church at bottom left. (Graphic: Saunders Architecture, courtesy Shorefast Foundation.) 16 / 16  Site plan showing how the Inn is sited just below the north coast (centre top) with Fogo Church at bottom left. (Graphic: Saunders Architecture, courtesy Shorefast Foundation.)

You get a visceral feeling just looking at the images of the new Fogo Island Inn that Todd Saunders has designed in Newfoundland. When we last spoke with him in February for our Off-places issue (uncube No.07), this “anti-hotel” – as he then described it – was still under construction.

Designed by Saunders Architecture for the Shorefast Foundation in collaboration with local firm Sheppard Case Architects Inc., the building consists of two crossed wings, one two-storey and one four-storey, and is more of a public building with guest rooms, than a hotel. The public rooms and facilites are there for the locals and include a library, cinema, gallery, gym, meeting rooms and a sauna, but they can also be used by guests staying in one of the 29 bedrooms. The Inn’s completion follows on from a series of elemental artist studio spaces (also commissioned by the Shorefast Foundation) that Saunders designed for an artist residency programme, again very much linked to the local community, as well as embedded in the landscape, providing employment and drawing on local resources.

So now the Inn is open for business and this series of images show it in the shifting light and weather of Newfoundland, giving a profound sense of the exposure of the site and making the interiors - kitted out with old school, yet contemporary rocking chairs, wood stoves and quilts – look even more welcoming and bright.  One could happily imagine holing up for the winter in a place like this: just you and the elements – with only a serious piece of triple-glazing in-between.

– Rob Wilson, uncube

www.fogoislandinn.ca

www.saunders.no

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