Part of the Fogo Island project, Saunders Architects have designed these amazing isolated cabins like inspirational shelters for artists. However, besides being the grounds for creation, the four cabins presented here are works of art in themselves. They are simply named by their geometry: Long, Squish, Bridge or Tower, geometry that in all cases comes to complement the natural environment in a dramatic way. Long Studio is the first cabin to be built, and it is a 120 square meters module designed to be reproduced as the colony grows. It is located a ten minute walk from the nearest track, and its position ensures both physical and mental isolation. Its minimal, elongated shape that floats over the rough volcanic boulders integrates this cabin completely to the wild environment. The exterior shell is in blackened rough-sawn pine with an interior lining in white spruce. While the architecture might seem sophisticated, the standard fixtures and finishing make it unpretentious. Locally sourced wood cladding echoes The fishermen’s clapboard houses are echoed in the locally sourced wood cladding and the in stilts that support the cabin just like Fogo’s traditional waterfront huts. Just like its sisters, this cabin produces its own power and treats its own waste, independent of any service supplier. Heat is generated by solar panels and a small wood stove.
With its white angular form, Squish offers sharp contrast to the traditional vernacular architecture of the nearby picturesque community of Tilting, outside of which it is located. The roof of this cabin is squished, rising 20 feet above the ground on the south side against only half this size on the north end. This shape is dictated by the stormy North-Atlantic winds that blow over the region. The compact, trapezium-shaped plan of the studio is increased by the extension of the east and west exterior walls to create a sheltered entry deck and a north terrace overlooking the ocean. Through the horizontal expanse of the main room, the angled roof leads the eye to the full height glass window focused on a beautiful view of the ocean.
The Bridge cabin first appears as an abstract entity. From the side it looks like a windowless wood-clad parallelogram, hovering above the landscape. Its name comes from the sixteen-foot bridge connected to the adjacent hillside by four piers. The closer one gets, the more transparent the cabin becomes, with a generous glass entry and a large square window at the other end of the room. Mirroring the sloped ceiling, the floor of the Bridge Studio is composed of two levels. The lower area, that accommodates an entry area, long counter and wood-burning stove is divided from the upper area by a short run of stairs. Like other cabins, the ceiling, the walls and floor are lined with painted spruce planks that create great perspective views from the inside towards the outside.
The tallest of the cabins, Tower is a three-strorey building that twists along its axes. Like other cabins of the project, it has a painted wooden exterior and a whitewashed interior. It culminates with a rooftop terrace that offers the most incredible views on the wild surrounding nature. At the level of the middle floor, a large triangular skylight allows light to flood into the cabin, while a mezzanine overlooks it from above.The sculptural silhouette of the cabin leans both forward and backward as it twists upward, making it look somehow out of balance. The entry level is occupied by a kitchenette, a compost toilet and wood- burning fireplace. The second level is a studio, day lit by the generous skylight, while the mezzanine overhead juts into the double height volume of the studio. The feeling of lack of balance is increased by the elimination of architectural detail and the fact that all surfaces are painted a brilliant white.