ARCH514: Community Design Workshop

From August 8 to August 30, 2017, nine McGill architecture students participated in this design/build workshop conducted by Professor Robert Mellin in the outport of Tilting, Fogo Island, Newfoundland. There were two projects: the repair and enhancement of the interior of "The Slipway" building for use as a small community theatre (new lower wall surfaces, new window and door trim, partial wall painting with the traditional light green colour of the Fishemen's Union Trading Company, and the installation of suspended seating above a large trap skiff so as not to fasten to or change the boat) and a viewing platform at the end of Greene's Point. The centre axis of the platform is aligned with an existing crevice in the rocks on the shore. The design of the platform evolved from the form of extended bridges or flakes leading to the traditional fishing stages in Tilting. These always had centre boards for ease of walking or wheeling heavy loads, as well as "ballast locker" foundations or cribs with wood as a container for heavy stones. In the Greene's Point platform, some of these ballast lockers, necessary for the extremely high winds in this area, were exposed to reveal the construction. The centre boards were painted red and morph into steps that were carefully scribed into a large rock at the entrance to the platform. The cedar boards of the platform, fastened with stainless steel ring nails, will weather grey. Construction was challenging as on most days there were strong winds. No permanent anchorage or changes to the site were permitted. Mr. Colin Greene, a trained heritage carpenter whose family is from Tilting and generously made this spectacular site available for our use, provided helpful assistance and advice for both projects. Mr. Jim McGrath from TRACS (Tilting Recreation and Cultural Society) provided essential logistical support. Flossie (Robert's St. Bernard) was the construction inspector.

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