| Image from Flickr/Brendan Henry via CC BY NC ND |
Simply put, cities do not have a lock on amazing, modern architecture.
The raw, sparse tip of an island in the North Atlantic might not be where you expect to see some of the most striking architecture in Canada, but then you probably wouldn’t expect to stay in Joe Batt’s Arm.
However, obviously, this is a thing that’s going to break with expectation. Fogo Island is an island off the northeast side of Newfoundland and on it is an inn. It’s not so much what’s inside that inn that counts. Again, obviously.
The Fogo Island Inn was designed by a local architect in the tradition of designing something that looks temporary, but becomes permanent. However, instead of using traditional building materials and a style born out of the areas fishing heritage, Todd Saunders created an incredibly unique, modern structure that looks out-of-place yet amazing perched over the ocean on some rounded rocky shore. It’s gone on to receive all sorts of awards and recognition, both as an architectural piece and as a hotel.
In some photos it can look photoshopped, the way it seems so out of place and how exact and sharp the building looks compared to the rugged natural landscape.
A note about visiting. From some reviews I’ve read the inn can isn’t always the most welcome place to people not staying there wandering around, but there are tours for the general public to see it, so contact with the innkeepers before arriving is probably advisable.
Fogo Island is an island, so you’re going to need to take a ferry to get there (since there aren’t really airports). A drive from St. John’s is most likely, and that’s going to take 6 hours. Gander does have an airport, and a much shorter drive, at two-and-a-half hours. Staying at the inn is…priced out of most people’s range (minimum $1,700/night). It’d be a doable day trip from Gander, though, which would help keep costs down. Joe Batt’s Arm has a couple cafes, so there are options outside of picnics. If you’re already staying in Gander, this trip could be done for the cost of a tank of gas and a meal or two.
Editor’s Notes —This is an updated version of the post I published last year when I took the first swing at this project.