Fogo Island is less than 100 square miles (about 240 square kilometers for our Canadian friends) just east of Newfoundland and Labrador. The craggy island isn’t the most hospitable place, but the roughly 3000 inhabitants are committed to living there and even taking steps to draw tourists to their rocky shores. Across the island, six artist’s studios designed by Saunders Architecture are taking shape. The hope is that the island will draw the kind of cultural tourists that have flocked to places like Marfa or Bilboa. Previously, we talked about another of the studios, the so-called long studio:
“The principle architect of Saunders Architecturee, Todd Saunders, was born in Newfoundland. He studied and worked in Canada before moving to Norway where he has worked since 1997. The Fogo Island Artist Studios is the first of six projects across the island that aim to rejuvenate the island as a cultural and artistic destination[.]“
Happily, the tower studio looks even better than the earlier completed studio. It would be easy for a tower painted black to look too ominous, and this tower might look a wee bit ominous, but the massing of the project is just wonky enough to make the project look less threatening and more whimsical. The good kind of whimsical, too– not the kind of whimsical you find being hawked an some art gallery in a resort town that’s perfectly targeted toward post-menopausal women. Ironically, if the six artist studios are successful in drawing more folks to Fogo Island, the place may wind up being populated with this very kind of art gallery. But for now, another of the six studios has been completed. It’s a small, excellent project and I look forward to seeing the rest completed.