In a world of globalization and industrial modernization, communities across the globe are finding new ways to adapt, evolve and emerge stronger. Fogo Island speaks to this tale. A once-thriving cod fishing community, and one of Canada’s oldest European settlements at the edge of the North American continent on the shores of Newfoundland, was on the brink of losing its way of life.
A Fogo Island native, Zita Cobb, came back to her community with a vision that would honor the past and help Fogo Islanders create a sustainable ecosystem that speaks to design, community and time honored traditions. Architect Todd Saunders, a native of Fogo Island, was tasked with creating a tourism destination that would capture the geographical characteristics of the island by weaving its environment, heritage, aesthetics, and culture, all while ensuring the well-being of its residents. The Fogo Island Inn is a true testament of how a community of local makers and artisans worked together to design and construct a restorative space for guests that pays homage to the natural landscape and traditional building methods of the island, all while providing a sustainable community asset.
In our region, we have seen old buildings restored and given new life and purpose. Community leaders are giving back to their hometowns, not-for-profit organizations are stepping up to teach and serve, and structures are being built that pay homage to time honored craftsmanship. As a design-build-development firm, we have had the opportunity to be part of some truly amazing projects that speak to place, culture, and community.