Fogo Island Inn furniture
Seating & tables, 2011 - 2013
I have been working on a commission to design furniture for a new hotel being built on Fogo Island in Canada. Located off the north east coast of Newfoundland, this small island is a unique & wonderful place with a rich heritage & dramatic landscape of cliffs, coves, lakes, woods & marshes.
The Fogo Island Inn is part of a series of new projects & enterprises initiated by the Shorefast Foundation, a locally based charity, & the affiliated Fogo Island Arts Corporation to bring artists & visitors to the island & revitalise an economy which had historically been dependent on fishing. Alongside the hotel, a series of artist studios are being built in different communities which are also designed by Norway based Saunders Architecture, headed by Newfoundland born Todd Saunders.
My involvement started when I was put forward on a shortlist by Studio Ilse - the designers responsible for the interior concept of the building who were familiar with the trestles & bench I had designed & made for a wedding. A number of designers were chosen & given briefs for specific items in different parts of the building with the intention that the designs have a sense of place without being a pastiche of the furniture from the island's past. All the elements will be made by local craftspeople thus generating employment & developing skills for future projects.
I have been asked to design flexible, space efficient seating & tables for the function space & am developing four pieces: a hardwood stacking chair, a folding timber bench & two different tables. These all draw from the prevalent typologies & vernacular traditions, & are intended to be very explicitly of the island. The designs are still under wraps but the images below show some of the inspiration*.