A new lodge for Mica Heliskiing Guides
Situated 160 km north of Revelstoke, BC, on Kinbasket Lake, Mica Heli Ski Lodge’s remote location put the innovation and ingenuity of the design and construction team to the test. CEI Architecture led the design of the new 14,000-square-foot lodge, which was completed in December 2012, just in time for the ski season. The building team was led by Vic Van Isle Construction.
The design process began with a charrette in the summer of 2011, which brought the Mica team together with architects, builders and engineering specialists. While initial discussions centred around a traditional ski chalet, the design soon evolved to reflect Mica’s ethos as a progressive organization committed to giving guests an unforgettable experience.
While the resort’s location at the intersection of three mountain ranges offers visitors rare access to premium powder skiing, it also made for a challenging building process. Materials had to be transported across Kinbasket Lake by barge and driven up logging roads to the mountainside location.
Construction of the building took place in the downtime after the 2011–12 skiing season, a narrow window between April and November 2012. The site obtains its own power (from a generator) and water (from a well), placing additional pressure on the construction team. A work camp was built to provide shelter and food to the construction team who stayed on site, due to the remoteness of the location.
The new lodge is anchored into the earth on one side, while the face perches out over the sloping ground to give the impression of a building sitting on the edge of the mountain. Expansive windows offer panoramic views of the valley below.
Instead of a traditional, peaked-roof chalet, the new lodge has a flat roof, which offers practical and aesthetic advantages. As snow accumulates on the roof, the building merges with the natural environment to become an integral feature of the landscape.
The selection of building materials contributes to the comfortable, cozy feel, while remaining true to the lodge’s rugged mountain location. Locally sourced stone and cedar are featured prominently throughout the structure. The building’s interior design, also led by CEI, creates an intimate, domestic tone.
The facility includes staff accommodations, a commercial kitchen, meeting rooms, offices, a dining room and a standalone bar—a space that has already become a favourite gathering place. The facility is earning rave reviews from guests.