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.


2023 Prairie Wood Design Award, Interior Showcase


(Edmonton, May 17, 2023) Wood WORKS! Alberta is excited to present the 8 winners of this year’s Prairie Wood Design Awards program. This prestigious group of leading architects, engineers, and project teams are advancing the use of wood in construction through design excellence, advocacy, and innovation. Winners receive a custom wooden trophy to commemorate the award.

Wood WORKS! Alberta and the Canadian Wood Council, extend their appreciation to everyone who participated in the 2023 Awards program, and congratulate all the award recipients.

Award Announcement Video (10 minutes; Grey Buffalo Grandfather Lodge @ 6:40)

Alberta Wood WORKS! Official Press Release

This project was undertaken by Cibinel Architecture Ltd. Photographs by Lindsay Reid.

Photographs by Lindsay Reid