FROM ABOVE, THE Fogo Island Inn in Canada is X-shaped, with one extremity of the hotel’s structure floating above the ground, supported on wooden stilts. Reminiscent of crooked supports for a forest shelter, the stilts are a carefully planned visual detail. The building is said to embody the particular sensibilities of the island’s inhabitants, equal parts quick witted and rash – which has resulted in the incredible capacity for invention that for generations has been the survival strategy of the local population. Because, despite the wild crashing of the North Atlantic outside the door, all the support is in fact said to be superfluous, with the 29-room hotel so skilfully designed that it is entirely stable as it is.
The entrance is located at the back of the hotel, as is typical for many traditional homes in Newfoundland. Two large red door handles in wood mark the entrance and provide a dash of colour in an otherwise white facade. The handles were cherrypicked by architect Todd Saunders, who wanted the first thing each visitor touches to be handmade.«