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Asian Centre to open UBC Reports 1981

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UBC R e p r o June 14, 1981  Asian Centre to open The spectacular new Asian Centre, symbolic of UBC’s growing role as a major Pacific Rim university will be officially opened at 2:30 p.m. on Friday, June 5.  Kenneth Wilson, retired supemsor of operations f o r UBC’s Botanical Gardenf o r 11 years f r o m 1969 to 1980, had the honor of planting a shrub to dedicate the new 30-acre Asian Garden officially opened on May 12. Garden contains UBC’s principal collection of rhododendron species, many of them rare. Mr. Wilson was also presented with third honorary ltje membership in the garden. Looking on at left is Dr. Roy Taylor, Botanical Garden director, and in background, ChancellorJ. V . Clyne, left, and Resident Douglas Kenny. Access to new Asian Garden is via a tunnel under Southwest Marine Drive from Main Botanical Garden adjacent to Thunderbird Stadium.  Priorities listed for campus building Immediate forward planning on six new campus building projects has been recommended by the UBC Senate’s Committee on Academic Building Needs Committee. The projects approved at the May Senate meeting are designed to overcome current acute space shortages in seven UBC academic units and “serious structural inadequacies” in the building which houses the Department of Geophysics and Astronomy. The committee has recommended that priority be given to meeting the space needs of the Faculty of Dentistry, the Departments of Chemical Engineering, Biochemistry, Physiology and Geophysics and Astronomy. The sixth project recommended by the committee is a new Studio Resources Building to recognize the “long-standing needs of the .Departments of Fine Arts, Music and Theatre.” The committee included the following comments on the proposals: Identification of a high priority for the Faculty of Dentistry “reflects a current acute shortage of office and graduate teaching/research space”; Chemical Engineering’s priority reflects a current acute space shortage and is “independent of any proposals with regard to expansion of the engineering program at UBC, which would also involve other engineering departments”; and The inclusion of Biochemistry  and Physiology recognizes space shortages attributable to their involvement in Faculty of Science degree programs and which are unrelated to the current medical school expansion; The committee also reaffirmed the acute space needs of projects which have already been approved as part of UBC’s current five-year capital plan. These will provide new space for the Faculties of Agricultural Sciences and Forestry, the Departments of Psychology, Chemistry and Physics and the clinical departments of the Faculty of Medicine. T h e committee also identified the Departments of Civil, Mechanical and Electrical Engineering in the Faculty of Applied Science as units where there is a clear indication of acute space shortages in the near future. Units identified as having current and anticipated space shortages solvable through reallocation and renovation of existing space are the Schools of Architecture and Community and Regional Planning and the Department of Computer Science. The committee’s final category lists units whose needs are largely related to the poor quality of existing buildings. Identified are: greenhouses for the Department of Plant Science, the Faculty of Education, the Institute of Animal Resource Ecology and the Departments of Mathematics, Oceanography and Geophysics and Astronomy.  A major undertaking of the academic building needs committee in recent months has been a campus-wide review of academic space needs, Senate was told by Prof. Victor Runeckles, head of plant science and chairman of the Senate committee. He said the committee had adopted an approach recommended by the Universities Council of B.C. for justifying requirements for new space. The UCBC formula is based on a formula developed by the Council of Ontario Universities. An advantage of the UCBC formula, he said, is that input data are available in several existing campus data bases, which must be updated regularly. This led to approval by Senate of a committee recommendation that the University place priority on maintaining an up-to-date space inventory and on improving the classifications of room types and of academic activities associated with courses offered. Also approved by Senate was a recommendation by the committee that UBC undertake a study of the feasibility of constructing flexible “University resource space” to accommodate on a short-term basis academic units which are experiencing acute shortages of space. Such space could also serve as a means of accelerating demolition of existing sub-standard buildings, the committee said.  3  Participating with Chancellor J.V. Clyne and President Douglas T. Kenny will be B.C. Premier William Bennett, Senator Ray Perrault, His Imperial Highness Prince Noruhito Mikasa and His Excellency Dr. Saburo Okita representing the government of Japan, and Joseph Whitehead, chairman of the Asian Centre Fund Executive Committee. The public is invited to the opening ceremony, reception and building tour which will follow. Among the festivities will be a tea ceremony in the Urasenke style by Mrs. Soshin Watanabe, a display of Asian art by the Canadian Society for Asian art, and performances by KalaMandir of B.C. - a South Asian musical group, the Vancouver Chinese Music Club, the Katari Taiko Vancouver Japanese drum group, and Teresa Kobayashi will give a performance of Japanese Koto. Public tours of the Asian Centre will also be offered on Saturday and Sunday, June 6 and 7, from 2 to 5 p.m. Occupying the building will be UBC’s Department of Asian Studies, the Institute of Asian Research and the Asian Studies Library. There will also be space for the Asian interests of UBC’s Departments of Music, Fine Arts and Theatre. The Centre will be very much a public building, serving both community and University groups with Asian academic and cultural interests. As well, the structure is expected to become a focal point and a source of visible pride for British Columbia’s Asian communities. They will have access to the Centre’s facilities which include an auditorium with seating for 220, a music studio and two exhibition galleries. The idea of the Asian Cenhe originated as a centennial gift from Japan to the people of British Columbia. The girders supporting the high pyramid roof were donated by the Sanyo Corporation after their use at the 1970 World’s Fair in Osaka. Funds for construction of the Centre at UBC came from the Province of British Columbia, the Government of Canada, the Japanese Federation of Economic Organizations, the Japanese World Exposition and a fund raising campaign supported by both Asian and Canadian interests. Total cost, including the interior finishing, was $5.4 million. Vancouver architect Donald Matsuba has incorporated more than 47,000 gross square feet within the original Sanyo shell, by developing four levels, two of them below ground level. The Centre’s spectacular roof, based on traditional Japanese rural design, is topped by a symbolic pagoda-style chimney. The surrounding landscapingwas designed by Prof. Kannasuke Mori of Chiba University in Japan.  

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