Fogo Island Inn

We were the sustainability strategists and interventionalists on this project. Since opening in Spring 2013, this 29-room inn has shaken up the world of travel and hospitality since it opened just two years ago on the northeast coast of Newfoundland. Designed by Canadian architect Todd Saunders, the Inn won the Greatest Innovation/Disruption Prize at LE Miami and is one of Architectural Digest’s Ten Most Daring New Buildings Around the World. The Fogo Island Inn has recently been recognized on Condé Nast Traveler’s Gold List 2016. The list is a compilation of CN Traveler’s editors’ picks for the top hotels in the world—spanning over 6 continents and 47 countries.

Guests enjoy panoramic views of the ocean via floor-to-ceiling windows with operable components in every room. Rooms, though modern in design, are furnished with a combination of contemporary and familiar, locally-crafted furnishings and furniture.

The Inn’s furniture is made by local craftspeople and Fogo Island Furniture now sold globally through KLAUS by Nienkamper.

The Inn is a project of the Zita Cobb’s Shorefast Foundation that uses financial, social and sacred capital to restore small communities to life. So all surpluses from the inn’s operations are re-invested in the Fogo Island community. The Fogo Island Inn is a gathering place for visitors and local people alike. The building has a 50-seat lecture hall as well as a contemporary art gallery and heritage library. It also features a flexible conference space, an award-winning restaurant and roof-top sauna. Fundamental to the project vision is the concept that the Inn must first be familiar and welcoming to local people, infused with local character and sensibilities, in order for it to be a unique and inviting world-class destination for international visitors.

“The Inn is infused throughout with a deep sense of place,” says Zita Cobb

The Fogo Island Inn is on an island off an island of an island. It is situated on the Back Western Shore, between the communities of Joe Batt’s Arm and Barr’d Islands on Fogo Island, off the northeast coast of Newfoundland. Designed by award-winning architect, Todd Saunders, the Inn is oriented towards the sea and elevated above the ground by staggered steel stilt legs that were inspired by the traditional Newfoundland fishing stage to provide an unobstructed and unbound guest experience.

The Inn features: a highly-insulated building envelope; rainwater capture and storage; heat rejection from the commercial kitchen that preheats space heating loads; 20% water efficiency savings while maintaining five-star expectations; solar photovoltaic array; solar thermal system; and wood biomass boiler.

Low-toxic materials are used throughout the building and and local raw materials that required maintenance were selected over low-maintenance commercial products in order to support the local economy. This is a remarkable story about a remarkable building for a wonderful community that will bring them into the next few centuries with the ongoing resilience that was known by their ancestors.

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