Fogo Island Inn

Saunders Architecture as Architects

Like a geometric boulder, the structure is created to serve as the ultimate escape for its visitors. Its Brilliant architecture surrounded by breathtaking views is amplified with luxurious interior decor. On the outside it is brilliant white with clear lines and on inside it is cozy and comfortable.


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The Fogo Island Inn was conceived by the Shorefast Foundation, a Canadian charitable organization established by Zita, Anthony and Alan Cobb, as a building for learnings that have emerged from four centuries of lived experience on the northeast coast of Newfoundland – to help carry the past into the future. It was created to be a cultural and economic engine for Fogo Island, one of Canada’s oldest settlements; created in response to a pressing need to find new relevance for traditional knowledge and traditional ways. The goal was to “find new ways with old things”. Fogo Islanders are a people who by virtue of their centuries of geographic isolation have become masters of making things by hand, recycling and devising local solutions to all manner of challenges. Engaging this cultural and intellectual heritage was a key priority in the design of the building and was a key asset in its construction. The Inn is owned by a charitable foundation and is operated for the benefit of the communities of Fogo Island and Change Islands.


The main building is an X in plan with the two-storey west to east volume containing public spaces while the four-storey south-west to north-east volume, parallel to the coast, contains twenty-nine guest rooms. All guest rooms face the ocean and look onto the fishing grounds that attracted people to this island. The room sizes vary from 350 square feet to 1,100 square feet. The rooms rooms on the third and fourth floors all having a wood-burning stove. The ceilings of the rooms on the fourth floor follow the slope of the roof and the three rooms on the east are double volume spaces with the sleeping area located on the mezzanine. Public areas include an art gallery curated by Fogo Island Arts; a dining room, bar and lounge which was recently rated as one of the top ten new restaurants in Canada by Enroute magazine; and a heritage library which is home to the private collection of the late Dr. Leslie Harris, former president of Memorial University of Newfoundland. The second floor includes a cinema that is a partnership with the National Film Board of Canada. The fourth floor roof deck has saunas and outdoor hot tubs with views of the sea. Traditional style “shore” legs are used to support the floors while minimizing the overall building footprint and the impact on the adjacent rocks, lichens and berries.


Ecological and self-sustaining systems were subtly integrated from the beginning of the project, incorporating technologies to reduce and conserve energy and water usage. The inn is a highly insulated steel frame building and the windows have the equivalent rating of triple pane glazing. Rainwater from the roof is collected into two cisterns in the basement, filtered, and used for the toilet and laundry water and also to be used as a heat sink for all of the kitchen appliances. Solar thermal panels supply hot water to the in-floor radiant heating as well as the laundry and kitchen equipment. The sound transmission classification of 69 between guest rooms ensures that guests hear only the sound of the nearby waves. The outbuilding houses wood fired boilers and solar thermal panels on the roof. The required number and orientation of the solar panels dictated the form of the outbuilding. The space between these two buildings creates an entry court and frames the main entrance. Vehicle parking is off site.


The knowledge and skill of local carpenters and craftspeople were essential for establishing the materials, details, furniture and textiles used throughout the buildings. Their know-how was the starting point for what has become a long term and ongoing collaborative project between contemporary designers from North America and Europe and the men and women makers and builders of Fogo Island and Change Islands. The inn therefore serves as a means to reweave this remote island into the fabric of the larger world and its highly specific design has enabled it to contribute to the continuation of a traditional economy of care, craft and culture.


Sustainable EDGE’s Story

Sustainable EDGE as Systems Designers


Sustainable EDGE worked closely with Shorefast Foundation and the design team to realize a sustainable and efficient system design. Solutions were identified, developed and implemented, including high-performance building envelope, radiant heating, displacement ventilation, demand ventilation, and summer outdoor air cooling.


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Sustainable EDGE worked closely with Shorefast Foundation and the design team throughout the Fogo Island Inn project to realize a sustainable and efficient system design, while keeping with Shorefast’s goal of local employment, and maintaining the architectural design parameters set out by Saunders Architecture. Sustainable EDGE acted as sustainable design consultants for thermal envelope, energy and water systems, as well as assisting with construction co-ordination on behalf of Shorefast. Starting with an Integrated Design Charette or design team workshop, “responsible” design solutions were identified, developed and implemented, including high-performance building envelope, radiant heating, displacement ventilation, demand ventilation, and summer outdoor air cooling.


The quality of indoor air is maximized though use of natural materials for the finishes, and by the introduction of outdoor air in a single pass strategy through occupied spaces. Displacement ventilation provides uniform air quality from floor to ceiling utilizing natural buoyancy forces. High-performance heat recovery from exhaust air reduces the ventilation supply heating and cooling loads. The ventilation supply and exhaust “registers” are integral carved slots in the interior wood siding or executed as a narrow slot at the base of bedroom walls. The result is a highly efficient system with a complete lack of intrusion by mechanical systems into the interior of the Inn.


The thermal envelope has high R-value insulation and R8 HeatMirror glazing throughout. The Inn is heated using solar thermal energy, utilizing 68 solar hot water collectors positioned on the roof of the outbuilding, backed up by wood heating from a central wood boiler. The heating system provides warm and hot water for the radiant floors, domestic hot water, laundry, and hot tub systems. There is also a sophisticated water treatment system resulting in pristine drinking water. Rainwater from the roof is collected in a large cistern and used for toilet flushing.


A key component of the Shorefast vision was the creation and preservation of high-quality jobs in a transitional fishing community. The systems designed by Sustainable EDGE fulfill this goal, while conserving energy and water, and protecting the fragile environment of Fogo Island.


Fogo Island Inn

WETSTYLE as Manufacturers

WETSTYLE provided all the premium-quality products that offer rejuvenation of the body and spirit for the guests. The products are custom-made and compliment the elegant furnishings of local craftspeople. All WETSTYLE products are made of WETMAR™ BiO an eco-friendly natural stone composite material.


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Fogo Island Inn was created to serve as the ultimate escape for its visitors. Brilliant architecture surrounded by breathtaking views are amplified with luxurious interior décor, giving all visitors an unforgettable experience. WETSTYLE’s exceptional custom-made craftsmanship mirror the intricately detailed plans that helped bring Fogo Island to life. WETSTYLE’s premium-quality products at Fogo Island Inn offer rejuvenation of the body and spirit for the guests. With headquarters in Montreal, Canada, WETSTYLE compliments the elegant furnishings of local craftspeople at Fogo Island Inn. (all WETSTYLE products are made of WETMAR™ BiO an eco-friendly natural stone composite material that contains a high content of mineral stone particles lending strength and durability, however technically the products at the inn are were made just before BiO was introduced)

Island dream Fogo Island Inn

Duravit as Manufacturers

The bathrooms provide modern comfort: the SensonWash shower - toilet by Duravit is a symbiosis of toilet and bidet that offers the very best personal hygiene: three shower modes ensure a pleasant feeling of freshness.


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On the outside, a brilliant white with clear lines. On the inside, cozy and comfortable. Like a geometric boulder, the Fogo Island Inn nestles between the rocky formations of the small island of Fogo off the coast of Newfoundland. Saunders Architecture and Sheppard Architects Inc based in Newfoundland created the guesthouse in the sparse coastal landscape, between the moorlands and the sea. With its effortless combination of modern design and a cozy, comfortable atmosphere, the Fogo Island Inn can accommodate 29 guests. In addition to special amenities such as its own cinema, art gallery and select library, floor-to-ceiling windows offer fascinating views of the North Atlantic. Materials such as carpets and blankets reflect a traditional furnishing style, whilst bathrooms provide modern comfort: the SensoWash shower-toilet by Duravit is a symbiosis of toilet and bidet that offers the very best personal hygiene: three shower modes ensure a pleasant feeling of freshness. Fogo Island Inn is not a hotel in the classical sense; rather it is a commodity that belongs to the community. Based on an initiative by the Shorefast non-profit foundation, the brainchild of Canadian Zita Cobb, the guesthouse aims to promote the culture and economy of the traditional fishing community on Fogo Island.

Dark Tools and lighting the Fogo Island Inn

Dark Tools as lighting designers

Dark Tools provided with the Lighting requirements; recessed lighting, the decorative lighting, the hidden valance lighting etc. They were also responsible for the project management.


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Lighting supply and project management In summer of 2012 a pair of clients came into our studio saying that we were reffered to them as someone that could assist them in the lighting design of a theater in the inn. We spent an hour discussing possibilities and concepts and they went away to get lunch. Sometimes a good lunch is all it takes!While lunch was being consumed we discussed the broader scope of the hotel and when lunch was finished the entire set of drawings were opened on the table and we got to looking at the project as a whole. The architect had come up with a very simple and elegant solution for all the lighting, however getting some of the fixtures on time and on budget were of concern at that time. We had often offered our services as project managers and purveyors of lighting equipment and we proposed a plan of action to their team and the founders agreed to work with us as a team, to see this project through completion.!Be careful what you ask for …!


Once we had reviewed the entire project and suggested accepted alternatives for some of the spaces, we were able to provide Shorefast with a budget and supply chain solution to get the material to the inn. The hardest part was about to come when we were presented with some of the very core values of this build. Every component must be supplied from a country that has adequate labour laws. Although in concept this sounded great, the reality was that there is very little architectural lighting that both reasonable and is actually “not” made in countries like China.! The hunt began with the recessed lighting where we worked closely with Sistemalux in Montreal and Contrast lighting in Quebec Canada. Both companies provided us with solutions that were cornerstones to the lighting design and built great looking fixtures that were made in Canada. The decorative lighting was a combination of custom designed and Canadian manufactured products as well as a large contribution from a Belgian lighting company, Delta Light. Our Belgian friends had just opened a new Canadian office that did partial local assembly and the combination of the simplicity of the lighting and their ability to meet Shorefast’s standard made them a great choice.


One of the most difficult decisions was that the Hotel also had to have all the newest in LED technology. It was essential for all the equipment meet struck energy codes that exceeded local and national “suggestions”, Fogo Island Inn was to be truly sustainable and low energy impact. The main issue was to find an actual light bulb that was not made in China. We turned to both Lighting Science Group in the US and Ushio in Japan to provide us with the bulk of the LED package and thus were able to meet the criteria. Our greatest challenge was to find a bedside reading lamp that fit all the criteria and satisfied the restrained essence of design. We finally were able to convince Linealight in Italy along with Interlight in Hamilton to make a great piece , that we feel will be timeless as the rooms themselves.!


One of the most interesting part of this job were all the decorative show pieces that were custom designed by artisans from around the world and produced in Canada with a great team of workers. We have to thank Arancia Lighting in Montreal for working closely with the team to ensure that every piece was assemble and certified to Canadian standards, with their assistance many of the great pieces would not have been possible. They worked closely with the Architects to manufacture all the bedroom sconces and even went to a local glass artist in Montreal to ensure that every fixture was entirely made in Canada. For the corridor sconces they worked with Fogo Island craftsmen to supply all the wooden components and then manufactured and assembled all the lighting components that make this dead simple design a work of art. The “Knotty” chandeliers in the dining room were coordinated with European designers as well and the local craftspeople and a lot of input from our friends at Arancia. We even had to go all the way to Japan to find a “victorian” light bulb that was hand made for the chandeliers. Shorefast’s dedication to sustainable technology was truly apparent when they committed to using Senso lighting in Calgary to provide all the hidden valence lighting in all the washrooms as well as the theater, these we all custom made waterproof LED extrusions fully made in Canada and deliver the vision that the architect had worked so hard to achieve.


As the project progressed, we were asked to help shorefast find suitable finishing trades to get the fine details done. The Inn had many great craftsmen and tradesmen, but we would like to thank Camposilvan Wood Products (Hamilton) as well as Connaught Contruction (Toronto) for their assistance in getting the interior wood done they way it was designed. Also we have a special thanks to Keith from KRC electric (Toronto) for spending the time it took to get all the fixtures working before the doors opened to the public. All of our supply partners and trades people were very excited about the uncompromising nature of the criteria, they embraced the fact that someone was standing up for manufacturing in countries that had labour laws. They all worked very hard to be competitive and truly this project was a passion for many of our suppliers as it was for us. If it was not for the vision of Zita Cobb and Todd Saunders as well as the passion that Tony Cobb instilled and ingrained in the suppliers hearts, there would never have been the drive to complete what we all consider to be a great contribution to architecture and design in Canada that can and will be enjoyed by the rest of the world.

Custom lighting for the Fogo Island Inn

Arancia Lighting as Manufacturers

They assisted with all the decorative show pieces that were custom designed by artisans from around the world and produced in Canada with a great team of workers; They worked closely with the Architects, craftsmen to manufacture all the bedroom sconces, corridor sconces, The “Knotty” chandeliers  etc.


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In summer of 2012 Dark tools contact us to see if we would be interested in working on this new resort hotel in Newfoundland. We had never hear of this island, but the people at Dark Tools sold us on the concept that Zita Cobb was trying to accomplish. It was an amazing experience working at such a distance to ensure that the entire team understood the manufacturing constraints of Canadian standards and for us to deliver the vision that Todd Saunders and his team had in mind.Sounds like a fun project, where is this Fogoz again? We were contracted to assist with all the decorative show pieces that were custom designed by artisans from around the world and produced in Canada with a great team of workers. We worked very closely with the design team to ensure that every piece was assemble and certified to Canadian standards, with their assistance many of the great pieces would not have been possible. We worked closely with the Architects to manufacture all the bedroom sconces and even went to a local glass artist in Montreal to ensure that every fixture was entirely made in Canada. For the corridor sconces we worked with Fogo Island craftsmen to supply all the wooden components and then manufacture and assembled all the lighting components that make this dead elegantly simple design a work of art. The “Knotty” chandeliers in the dining room were coordinated with European designers as well and the local craftspeople and a lot of input and sub manufacturing from Arancia. We are very proud that Shorefast and the Cobb’s came to our little firm in Montreal and gave us the opportunity to help them build every custom piece that the Architect and design team had visioned. It was a great experience to proudly put the “made in Canada” label on all the items that we di for the project. We would especially like to that Kingman Brewster Nick Herder for taking the time to and the effort to work with us at every step. We hope to visit this Fogo Island one day.

Product Specifications
BrandCategoryProducts
DuravitDuravitManufacturers
Arancia LightingArancia LightingManufacturers
WETSTYLEWETSTYLEManufacturers
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