Westbank has built a practice around long-term commitments to artistry, sustainability and city-building. These commitments underlie an orientation towards projects like Woodwards, Vancouver House, Mirvish Village, Telus Garden and Oakridge – catalysts for larger change that go beyond the borders of the projects themselves. We are here to create. To provoke. To ignite. We are the vehicle for a new movement of cultural expression.

As the practice matures, we have become more ambitious. With every new project reflecting our commitment to the philosophy behind Gesamkunstwerk, or in our recent work the Japanese philosophy behind layering, the net effect is that our work becomes much more complex and far-reaching.

The core of Westbank’s mission is to create a body of work with a high degree of artistry that helps foster more equitable and beautiful cities. Westbank is active across Canada and in the United States, with projects including luxury residential, Five Star hotels, retail, office, rental, district energy systems, affordable housing initiatives and public art. Established in 1992, we are one of North America’s leading developers, with offices in Vancouver, Calgary, Toronto, Seattle, Shanghai, Beijing, Taiwan, Tokyo, Hong Kong, Shenzhen and over 25 billion dollars of projects completed or under development.

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May 28, 2014

A Letter From Ian Gillespie: A New Way of Thinking About City-Building

Eight weeks ago we opened our exhibition, Gesamtkunstwerk, to engage the community in conversation about city building and to also afford Vancouverites the opportunity to peek under the hood of what we think is a pretty special project.

We have had an overwhelming response. Nearly 15,000 visitors from 12 countries have come to see 7 years of design work and a commitment to the philosophy of the total work of art. This picture says something about us as Vancouverites and our collective commitment to build upon the legacies of previous generations who created so much of what we now enjoy. Vancouver is known as the most livable city in the world for many reasons and we hope that this project will contribute in a meaningful way to further raise the bar.

I would like to thank all of you who took the time to come and experience Gesamtkunstwerk, the team of professionals who made it all happen, and our thought-provoking Salon Series speakers. Nearly 75 percent of visitors partook in the audio tour, reinforcing how engaged our citizenry is. And with this engagement, we can accomplish great things.

The exhibit closes on 30 May but GWERK will live on and continue its mission.

The sales gallery for Vancouver House opens on 21 June, offering an opportunity to reserve your interest in acquiring your own piece of a living sculpture. We would like to extend an invitation to all of you to come and have a look at what the future promises.

Thank you,

Ian Gillespie




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