Completed: 2021
Size: 5,640 ft2 / 523 m2

Grey Buffalo Grandfather Wellness Lodge is a rural learning and wellness retreat for inner city families and youth located at Hillside Beach, Manitoba. It provides a welcoming space for people to connect to the land, learn about Indigenous Traditions and Ceremonies, and participate in cultural activities.

The original retreat centre building was lost in a fire and a replacement facility was desperately needed by the community. Cibinel’s design team was trusted to build the new facility through our long-standing relationship with the client. This team worked closely with the client and user groups through design meetings to understand what worked well in the previous building and what could be improved upon. As a result, a new design was founded on the sense of procession and a generosity of space through a “Great Hall” with expansive windows. Natural light studies were performed to ensure that any additional direct sunlight inside the building would not adversely affect the comfort of the residents or obstruct carefully crafted views. The result is a comfortable, airy living space with a more powerful connection to the wooded landscape outside.

The new retreat centre is primarily wood construction. It includes 12 bedrooms, a kitchen, a multipurpose room, washrooms, shower facilities, and ancillary spaces.

Once completed, a traditional naming ceremony was held, and the centre was reborn as the Grey Buffalo Grandfather Wellness Lodge.

This project was undertaken by Cibinel Architecture Ltd.

Photographs by Lindsay Reid.


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