SQUISH STUDIO, Fogo Island

First settled in the mid-18th century, Tilting is known for its strong Irish culture and its recent designation by Parks Canada as a National Cultural Landscape District of Canada. The Squish Studio’s white angular form, sited on a rocky strip of coastline, that could rival Italy’s western coast, offers sharp contrast to the traditional vernacular architecture of the nearby picturesque community of Tilting.

As its architect, Todd Saunders, has commented on the studio’s siting: “it is out of sight, but close.” The approach to the front entry of the studio is dramatic, as the most southern end of the studio rises 20 feet above the ground, in sharp contrast to its most northern tip that measures only half that dimension.

The compact, trapezium-shaped plan of the studio is augmented by the extension of the east and west exterior walls to create a sheltered, triangulated south entry deck and a north terrace that overlooks the ocean. From a distant view, the streamlined form of the Squish Studio becomes apparent, with its high back and low (squished) front designed, in part, to deflect the winds from the stormy North Atlantic.

The vertical white planks that line the interior walls are interrupted by a playful series of narrow windows integrated with an expanse of built-in cabinetry.

The Squish Studio, like most of its other counterparts, is equipped with a compost toilet, a small kitchenette and wood-burning stove. Power is supplied by stand-alone solar panels, mounted on an adjacent hilltop. Both the interior and exterior of the studio, including the roof, is clad with spruce planks that are painted white.

At night, the studio, illuminated by the soft glow of its solar-powered lighting, appears as a lantern or a lighthouse placed strategically on a rocky cliff to overlook the North Atlantic. In its isolation, one can also imagine a sole occupant – vulnerable but protected from the elements – inspired to work late into the night, occasionally distracted by the crash of the waves, or perhaps fully immersed in the work at hand, noticing the first glimpse of the sunrise through the Squish Studio’s slot windows that face the north-eastern horizon.


Credits: Todd Saunders with Attila Béres, Ryan Jorgensen, Ken Beheim-Schwarzbach, Nick Herder, Rubén Sáez López, Soizic Bernard, Colin Hertberger, Christina Mayer, Olivier Bourgeois, Pål Storsveen
PHOTOGRAPHY: Bent René Synnevåg