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Inn at the Forks
Winnipeg, Manitoba

8,000 m² (82,000 sq. ft.)

Construction Cost
$16 million

Completion Date
May 2004


Inn at the Forks

The 8 000 m² hotel is located at Winnipeg’s historic meeting place at the confluence of the Red and Assiniboine Rivers. The 116 room, boutique style inn includes an institutional kitchen, serving a 100 seat dining room, a 100 seat lounge, a 75 seat outdoor terrace and 3 board rooms. Emphasis was placed on a clean, modern design with a selection of natural, local materials which reflect the historic significance of the site. Sustainable concepts incorporated in systems, orientation and massing were major design determinants.

The project was particularly sensitive due to its historic location, and demanded a commensurate level of detailed design attention. The building’s extensive stone cladding refers directly to existing warehouse-style structures at The Forks, dating back to the 19th century.

Numerous public forums were held to ensure community support for the project, for which Smith Carter prepared extensive presentation materials, including virtual 3D walkarounds and static models to maximize legibility and transparency of available information. As a result, once the design was unveiled, it met with unexpectedly broad support, even from heritage activists.

Due to the tight construction site and proximity to a thriving shopping/tourist precinct, our architectural and engineering team chose systems and components which would cause minimum disruption during delivery and installation. Any equipment which might have created visual or audible “noise” was positioned in discreetly screened locations.

Innovative sustainability technologies were employed here. For example, this project marked the first Canadian application of the “Redi-Maid” system, which links ensuite occupancy sensors to staff PDAs, and to lighting and mechanical system controls, in order to avoid guest disturbance while maximizing energy efficiency.