Fogo Island Inn sits on an island, off an island, at one of the four corners of the Earth. Every one of their 29 one-of-a-kind guest rooms and suites has dramatic floor-to-ceiling windows that open onto the wildest and most powerful ocean on the planet. A stimulating relief from the numbing uniformity of modern times, the award-winning Inn is built on the principles of sustainability and respect for nature and culture. The Inn is a community asset, and 100% of operating surpluses are reinvested into the community to help secure a sustainable and resilient future for Fogo Island, Newfoundland.
Fogo Island Inn was designed by Newfoundland-born, Norway-based architect, Todd Saunders. The 43,000 square-foot Inn is perched on stilts and hugs the North Atlantic coastline, affording all 29 rooms with floor-to-ceiling views of sea and sky. All rooms showcase the richness of their locality and clearly express a modern take on traditional Newfoundland outport design and décor. The Inn’s architecture is bold, optimistic, and distinctly of this place. Though radical in its design, the Inn still speaks to the traditional outport Newfoundland aesthetic.
The X-shaped structure features a two-storey west-to-east wing containing gathering spaces, and a four-storey south-west to north-east wing, parallel to the coast, containing all of the guest rooms. The first floor includes the contemporary Art Gallery curated by Fogo Island Arts, the Dining Room, Bar, Lounge, and Tea Room. The second floor is home to a Heritage Library containing works of both fiction and non-fiction pertaining to Newfoundland, the Cinema, Meeting Room, Gym, and Reading Room, and the fourth floor roof deck houses wood-fired saunas and outdoor hot tubs.
Two floors of guest rooms sit atop the Inn’s stilts, a distinct nod to traditional outport fishing stages. These stilts, or “shores,” underpin many of the buildings on Fogo Island due to the rocky, undulating topography. They support the Inn while also minimizing the overall building footprint and impact on the adjacent rocks, lichens, and berries. The Inn’s sharp angles and rough contours feel at home amidst Fogo Island’s jagged and uneven landscape. All of the Inn’s rooms were created using only natural materials such as wood, wool, cotton, and linen. The only plastic in the guest rooms is the telephone.
One of the Inn’s most iconic spaces, the Dining Room features a dramatic vaulted ceiling and looks out over the ocean with views of the community of Barr’d Islands in the distance. Depending on the season, guests seated in the Dining Room can watch icebergs bobbing in the waves, whales breaching offshore, or enjoy a front-row view of a savage North Atlantic gale. The dining room’s distinctive chandeliers were conceived by Dutch designer Frank Tjepkema and feature a wildflower motif.
A lively space for gathering, celebrating, and unwinding, the Inn’s Bar and Lounge offer a laid-back spirit conducive to starting the day with a cappuccino or wrapping it up with a cocktail. The Bar carries an endless array of wines, beers, and spirits, Featuring ample comfortable seating, the Lounge and Bar are regularly visited by local musicians, and guests are welcome to pick up the Inn’s guitar for a quick strum themselves.
Located on the second floor of the Inn, the Library features an extensive collection of fiction and non-fiction works pertaining to the history and culture of Newfoundland and Canada and is available for use by Inn guests as well as the general public of Fogo Island. Many of the books in the Library originated from the private collection of the late Dr. Leslie Harris, former president of Memorial University of Newfoundland. Dr. Harris possessed a superb personal collection of Newfoundlandia, including a wonderful range of materials pertaining to rural Newfoundland life, the fisheries, wildlife, and the sea.
Fogo Island Inn features a contemporary “white cube” art gallery on the first floor, adjacent to the library. In collaboration with Fogo Island Arts, the gallery showcases the works of selected artists who have completed residencies on Fogo Island through Fogo Island Arts. The goal of the public gallery is to provide diverse audiences – local and global – with opportunities to engage with contemporary artworks informed by the specificities of place.
Thus far, Fogo Island Gallery has presented solo exhibitions by Kate Newby (New Zealand), Zin Taylor (Canada), Silke Otto-Knapp (Vienna), Hannah Rickards (England), Edgar Leciejewski (Germany), Leander Schönweger (Italy), Wilfrid Almendra (France), and Isa Melsheimer. Exhibitions in the gallery are accompanied by a publication focusing on each artist’s work, produced by Fogo Island Arts and Berlin’s Sternberg Press.
December 23, 2018 to April 27, 2019
Designed by Nick Herder, Fogo Island Inn’s 37-seat Cinema features a state-of-the-art digital projection and sound system. It was initially inspired by classic Art Deco-style movie houses but adapted to fit within the contemporary design of the Inn.
The “The Magic Picture Box” Cinema is an independent box that sits within the greater building, and is literally built as a black box sitting inside of the Inn’s generally white space. Inside, the painted white wood finishes of the surrounding building seep into the Cinema but fade to black in frames that wrap continuously around the room. The softer black frames increase, expand, and completely envelope the room at the front of the space to finally frame the projection screen. A red staircase, seats, and curtain carry you through the space in “red carpet” style.