The new headquarters of Fogo Island Natural Park, designed by Portuguese firm OTO, was one of the first buildings to be destroyed by what has now been classified as the worst Pico do Fogo eruption in the last 60 years.
Photo by FG+SG.
André Santos, Nuno Martins, Miguel Carvalho and Ricardo Vicente, OTO’s cofounders, were in shock when they realized the project – the result of their first competition entry as independent architects, which had been inaugurated the previous spring – had been swallowed by lava.
In their words: ‘Our first reaction was selfish. When we heard about the eruption, we immediately thought about the park headquarters and wondered whether the building was in the path of the lava. We were heartbroken when we discovered that it was. It felt almost as though we had lost a child. A couple of days later, when everything else started to disappear, the loss of our building became almost meaningless. The people who lived in the community not only lost their homes and their belongings; the eruption totally erased their geographic memory. The landscape they knew will never exist again: buildings, pathways and fields, everything is gone forever.’
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