Fogo Island studios are an inspired way of rebuilding the artistic community
A native entrepreneur of Fogo Island, an area located just off the coast of Newfoundland in Canada, is looking to boost tourism with a new and contemporary attraction looking to make it a geo-tourism destination.
Zita Cobb, the ambitious entrepreneur, is hoping to achieve $25million investment in the scheme and, with the help of local carpenters and architect Todd Saunders, she is looking to build six self-sustaining studios with her fibre optic fortune.
The studios will range from 20m² to 200m², the idea is for writers and artists to use the space to have a liberating sense of oneness with nature inspiring their work. As well as enabling the creatives to engage with the locals, this idea is reminiscent of the Romantic Piers if Wordsworth and Coleridge who believed that nature gives us the energy and inspiration to be creative.
Completed in 2010, Long Studio is a modernist build that is at one with its surroundings. The others, Bridge Studio, Tower Studio and Squish Studio, join it to lend a striking image at one with nature and inspiring in themselves. This ambitious build still has two more studios set to be completed later. Creative, inspired and out of the ordinary, this is one build destined to pioneer a new sub-genre of tourism.
Saunders Architecture built their ever-expanding portfolio in Norway with a string of their strong contemporary design sensibility buildings. Having taken their work to England, Denmark, Italy and Sweden, Saunders launched their huge project in Canada’s Fogo Island. Each studio is supported by pillars facing the sea with the entrance on a concrete platform amid the rocky terrain.
Cobb, who grew up on the island and is behind the idea, explained: “We saw an opportunity to use architecture as a way to preserve some of the things we were afraid of losing in terms of traditional knowledge,” while speaking to Dezeen. “To not just hold onto the knowledge, but actually extend it another 100 years,” she added.
“We invited designers to come in for a residency and paired them up with local craftspeople, whether they be textile people or boat-building people, and asked them to come up with the objects that were needed,” she explained.
“I think of it as a reweaving of Fogo Island into the fabric of the world in a new way,” she added. “I obviously am a big believer in the power of art to make all kinds of social impact.”