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 Two

“A transformative artwork “Spinning Chandelier” re-imagines an under-appreciated civic space, setting a new international precedent for conceptual art at city scale. For Vancouverites, this will become the new ‘Nine O’clock Gun’ — the gift of an extraordinary new urban ritual.” – Reid Shier, public art consultant and Director of Presentation House Gallery.

“Spinning Chandelier”, by Vancouver artist Rodney Graham, is a kinetic sculpture that will transform the vast, cathedral-like spaces under the Granville Bridge. Graham’s sculpture extends from  his 2005 35-film loop installation Torqued Chandelier Release in which a crystal chandelier whirls rapidly as its supporting cable is unwound. Installed under the bridge above the intersection of lower Granville with Beach Avenues, a monumental 14 by 21 foot faux glass recreation of the film’s 18th century French chandelier will slowly rotate and rise over the course of twenty-four hours, then once a day release and dynamically spin back to its starting point. “Spinning Chandelier” will quickly become an urban icon turning a dark under-bridge into the enjoyable focus of public celebration.


A second installation of public art will also reside on the underside of the bridge, helping to enliven the nighttime streetscape of lower Granville Street. Inspired by ubiquitous bus shelter advertising displays, such key Vancouver photo-conceptualist artists as Jeff Wall and Rodney Graham have long used ranks of bulbs set in a frame to illuminate large colour photographic transparencies from behind — these are called ‘light boxes’. These light boxes will display changing photographic content produced in consort with students from Emily Carr University, a creative partnership with our near neighbour. Think of it as a 21st century Sistine Chapel, showing creative visual thinking in process from the next generation.



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