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 07, 2014

Public Art and Westbank: Part One

In a class of its own as a development industry patron of creativity, Westbank has embraced demanding, avant-garde work by the world’s finest artists, using its projects as vast canvases.

Westbank-commissioned new public art are integrated into its Vancouver developments. Previous Westbank public art commissions include “Abbott & Cordova, 7 August 1971” by Stan Douglas, a critical examination of the history of streets near Woodward’s. Another one showing the transformation  of the edge of Bute Street near Alberni, showing how public art from Dale Chihuly and others has transformed the streetscape.

A third is Diana Thater’s installation of LED lights, which creates a harbour-scale beacon, visible from the Second Narrows and Lion’s Gate Bridges Liam Gillick’s text-based work lyingontopofabuildingthecloudslookednonearerthanwheniwaslyingonthestreet runs around the hotel room floors of the Fairmont Pacific Rim, the heritage Marine Building across Cordova Street lit up in its reflection.

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For the Shangri-La Hotel in Toronto, Rising by Shanghai artist Zhang Huan is both intimately integrated with the James Cheng-designed hotel and residential building, and a defiant and public gesture of creative independence on its main public facade. The bold biomorphic forms here were scaled up from scans of roots and branches, cast in stainless steel in China, ten assembled here along Toronto’s University Avenue just below Queen Street. The commission by Zhang Huan for Westbank is one of the most highly regarded public art installations ever completed in Canada’s largest city.




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