End 2010 we were asked to work on a very special project on far away Fogo Island in Canada: the Fogo Island Inn. A first trip was made to Fogo in February 2011 and a second trip later on to work in the workshops with the furniture makers. A thing that striked on the first trip was the cold and isolation. The Fogo-islanders are however far from that. They are very interested and open minded to what comes from else.
Above you find images of the first trip, crafts and people on the island that we would have to deal with, pictures of the amazing buildings and furniture that could be found on the island already and new architecture that was on its way: some studio's under construction and last but not least: Fogo Island Inn that opened in 2013.We designed three projects for Fogo Island's:1. furniture for the interior of the inn, see2. furniture for the exterior of the inn, see3. furniture for the island, seeBelow first some backgrounds and above some images of the trip...
Fogo-island: fishing-island in icecold sea between New Foundland (Canada) and Greenland. Its inhabitants often have Irish ancestors and roots in fishing. Till the 60's boys often only went to school till about nine and than started to help their fathers on the fishingboats in the icecold sea from early mornings till late. The fish got smaller and the big trailers came. Fishing from the island became more difficult, young people started to leave the island.One fisher had six sons and one daughter that went to university in Ottawa. (sounds like a fairy tale). She set up a company in fiber-optics, sold the company, became one of the richest women of Canada, started projects on illiteracy in Africa and than thought about her island where many boys (and her old friends) did not go to school very long as well. She set up the Shorefast Foundation to do something back to her island. Her name is Zita Cobb. With New Foundland architect Todd Saunders, now working from Norway, Shorefast initiated some artist-residence-studio's on Fogo island: small, very nice, plain and iconic architectural studio's. From there the idea arised to set up an inn where visitors could stay, but where inhabitants of the island itself could also get together for music evenings, filmnights and special celebrations. There is a much bigger social idea behind the project of the Shorefast Foundation, on food, local crafts etc. This all attracted Ineke very much in the project when asked to design furniture for the inn.
Initialy Ineke was asked to design wooden furniture for Fogo Island Inn. Specifically for the entrance, the lobby, some other public areas and the rooms.Another request was to work with the people from the island. The men: used to boatbuilding & coopering, most of them only worked with wood in the winter when not fishing and learned the techniques – word by mouth – from their fathers. Most of them were also once boss on a ship and used to freedom (slightly anarchists! nice!) but... had no serious experience with producing items on a larger scale or making furniture from production drawings.The women have weekly gatherings working on quilts, communual knitting, rug-hooking etc. Because of the Irish backgrounds the Island was flooded with big protestant and catholic churches, though not all in use anymore... These churches had been converted into workshops for the Fogo quilt-guild, furniture makers and to store the Inn's furniture before getting into the interior.
To build an Inn on an island like Fogo more or less takes the effort as building a drilling platform due to the severe weather conditions. Everything needs special attention, like windows that - with normal glass - would get sandblasted six times a year with the sea and wind bashing on the Inns facades on a regular bases.During her visits Ineke saw the inn coming together. Middle 2013 Fogo Island Inn opened.
commision: Shorefast Foundationinfo: on island and backgroundsmore: see and on Shorefast, or on crafts and Fogo's Winds and Waves Artisan Guildshort info on pdf
publications: DAMnº Magazine #41, FORM, Intramuros, Azures Top Ten 2013 architectural projects (how nice that they mention the furniture designer too)