The Arts Undergraduate Society, partnered with architectural firm Leckie Studio Architecture + Design, has finalized the plans for the new Arts Student Centre (ASC). The project has been in sort of a limbo state since it was passed in a 2013 referendum.
“It was kind of a slow moving process,” said Jina Marwood, VP administration and chair of the ASC. “Interest for the Arts Student Centre kind of flip-flopped year to year [with executives] ... but for the past year and a half it’s been very very fast.”
The building will have some unique features, including executive offices, as well as rooms for video conferencing, film, photography and arts workshops. All of this cool stuff, however, is overshadowed by the fact that the building will feature nap rooms.
“My hope is that it’s not just understood as [a place to] nap or [for] sleeping but that there’s a much broader sense of rest and recovery,” said Michael Leckie, principal architect and founder of Leckie Studios Architecture + Design. “Given the fact that many UBC students [live] off campus and there’s a considerable commute, the ability for them to have a space to go to during the day for a quick break will be very very useful.”
Marwood stressed the importance of community building when designing the building.
“I feel like a lot of the time, arts students get underlooked on campus … We are kind of unable to find this full identity on campus,” she said. “It was really hard for me as a first year student to really find my place on campus. I wasn’t really proud to be an arts student … If we have a ‘home away from home’ ... it’ll make a student feel more like they are welcome on campus.”
Marwood said they looked for an architectural firm that would take these concerns and work with them, “We really wanted an emerging firm … someone who understands student engagement.”
“Our real hope is that it will be a space that supports all the various needs of the arts students faculty, so we’re imagining that it will support learning, social interaction, collaboration as well as space for innovation," Leckie explained.
Leckie also stressed the importance of community, “As much as the university experience is about learning, it’s also about making connections with your peers and belonging to a sense of community that promotes success and moving forward in life.”
The building will be located in in the Oak Bosque forest, between the Life building and Irving K Barber Library. Its tentative date for opening is 2021.