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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March 13, 2014

The Art of Development

From initiating Vancouver’s first developer-run public art competition for Bute Street alongside its Palisades and Residences on Georgia projects, to large scale urban commissions to Britain’s Liam Gillick at Fairmont Pacific Rim and Vancouver’s Stan Douglas at Woodward’s atrium, Westbank has led Canada’s development industry in integrating leading-edge contemporary art into its developments.

The developer’s long-term commitment to public art includes commissions to leading artists such as Stan Douglas and Rodney Graham, and a long-term commitment to sustainability through such developments as the LEED Platinum Vancouver House.

In 2012, Westbank’s largest projects were published in Artistry, a beautiful coffee table book that chronologically told the story of each important project through photo essay. Not only is the book an intimate look into the company’s various developments and art commissions, it is a vision of how it can continue to contribute to the bigger picture of building better cities.

For Westbank, it’s not just about the development — it’s about the art of development.

“As global citizens, we each have a two-fold mission; firstly, to recognize that we stand on the shoulders of previous generations; and secondly, to acknowledge that we are doing nothing but consuming scarce resources if every day our efforts aren’t leaving our community in slightly better shape than what we inherited.”

– Ian Gillespie, president of Westbank (2012)


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