He has roots in Gander, and for the past 10 years has been an internationally-recognized architect based out of Bergen, Norway.

​The Huffington Post has ranked Todd Saunders as one of world's five greatest architects under the age of 50.

'So, when you walk in to the building, it's kind of like a big living room with a big fireplace in the middle, and a place off to the side where you can have a cup of coffee or tea' - Architect Todd Saunders 

Saunders has designed projects all over the world, including the award-winning Fogo Island Inn, located off Newfoundland's northeast coast.

​​He has also designed a future landmark in Nain — the Torngâsok Cultural Centre, which is set to open later this year.

Saunders said that he has been fascinated with Labrador ever since he was a young boy.

"After we actually got interviewed for the project, I spent three weeks there ... and I just fell in love with the place," Saunders told the CBC's John Gaudi.

"I think I struck a chord with them. The way I wanted to approach it was that most of the other architects came with a pre-conceived idea of what they wanted to do, without ever visiting the place. And I actually backed up and said, 'I can't make an idea unless I spend some time there, I really want to spend some time there.' So I suggested I come up and spend a few weeks, which they were really open about."

Rendering #2 Torngasok Cultural Centre in Nain

A second design rendering of the Torngâsok Cultural Centre in Nain. (Courtesy Saunders Architecture)

Saunders said the Nain project was an unusual one to design.

"It was a bit of a difficult project to make architecture for a place that didn't have a history of architecture. We looked at what the Moravians did. But deep down, I didn't think that was the architecture of the people up there," Saunders said.

"And the second kind of architecture was the government architecture, which is never nice. So we were trying to explore what kind of building would work for the place and the people up there ... so we probably made about a hundred ideas, and took it down to about three, which we presented."

A living room for the community 

Saunders noted that people in Nain all lived in their own houses, but there was no place that they could gather together.

"The town first, it needed a cultural centre, because it burnt down a couple of years ago. So the two-fold part of the building is that it would serve as a place where you could eat informally," he said.

"So, when you walk in to the building, it's kind of like a big living room with a big fireplace in the middle, and a place off to the side where you can have a cup of coffee or tea ... and then it goes on to the exhibition space. So hopefully it won't be used just as a museum, it will be used for birthday parties for kids, concerts in the evenings, just a place to have meetings, a basic place to hang out, like a living room should be."