May 5, 2014
by Canadian Architect
Westbank Projects Corp. President Ian Gillespie recently announced his company’s partnership with World Housing. This social-venture partnership model means that for every condominium purchased at its newest development called Vancouver House, World Housing is able to build one home for an impoverished family living in a Third World landfill community; 395 homes will be gifted from purchasers of Vancouver House. This is the first Platinum Partnership – a one-for-one commitment – by a developer to World Housing.
“The vision of World Housing and its founders mirrors our own goal of affecting positive change in communities and I believe, will hold meaning for buyers,” said Gillespie. “Westbank has always put strong emphasis on social responsibility. Through this initiative, we hope to set a new norm in residential development and inspire buyers, who will ultimately be the driving force.”
“We are very excited that Westbank would make such a commitment,” said Pete Dupuis, co-founder of World Housing. “Their support will result in more than 2,200 people being able to move from living in the dump to a home with roof over head and a lockable door. The social change created for these families is truly life-changing.”
Vancouver House, an innovative world-class development designed by Copenhagen/NY-based architecture firm, Bjarke Ingels Group (BIG), is slated for completion in 2018 with a vision of rejuvenating and creating an entire Vancouver neighbourhood. For each residential unit sold in this development, a home will be built and gifted to a family currently living in a shack in a Cambodian garbage dump community. A typical World Housing home is a 130-square-foot metal-insulated structure that rests on elevated supports to protect from the elements. They are equipped with electricity and have a rainwater collection system to provide fresh water.
The World Housing story, including a scale-model of a WH home, is part of the Gesamtkunstwerk exhibition now open in Vancouver. The exhibition profiles the city’s architectural coming-of-age and the Vancouver House development from its inception.
bjarke ingels and ian gillespie