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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June 15, 2017

BIG’s Serpentine Pavilion finds permanent home in Vancouver

For the last 16 years, the Serpentine Galleries in London has commissioned international architects to design a pavilion that becomes the setting for daily and nightly cultural events. This iconic annual architectural commission resides for four months – from June to October – on the Galleries’ lawn in London’s Kensington Garden and has become the premiere social space of the summer season.

The commission is an opportunity for the greatest architectural talent in the world to express their creativity, by reimagining a traditional space and giving the public access to explore it.  In 2016, Westbank sponsored Bjarke Ingels’ design for the Serpentine Pavilion.

Ingels’ design, the ‘unzipped wall’, sought to reconcile aspects commonly perceived as opposites, creating a space that is both free-form and structured; modular yet sculptural. The resulting structure transforms from a straight line into three-dimensional space, creating a dramatic undulating form of stacked rectangular frames made out of glass fiber.

“Westbank has a well established and growing relationship with Bjarke and his team at BIG, purchasing the Pavilion was a very natural extension of that partnership and we want to give Bjarke’s creation the most interesting afterlife of any of the previous pavilions.”
— Ian Gillespie, Founder, Westbank.

Westbank subsequently purchased the Pavilion, with the intention that it would serve a purpose beyond the one exhibition.  Plans are currently underway that would see the Serpentine Pavilion on display for periods of time in New York and Toronto, before eventually finding its way to a permanent home in Vancouver.


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