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The upgraded UCC includes an expanded welcome porch that provides guests with better shelter from the elements
The University Cultural Centre (UCC) at NUS was unveiled on 22 March after a six-month upgrading exercise that saw the creation of a new multipurpose atrium as well as improved technical infrastructure and seating in both UCC Hall and UCC Theatre.
The venue for Commencement ceremonies since 2001 and University Awards from 2006 as well as host to numerous arts performances, UCC is a familiar landmark for scores of NUS faculty, staff and students. UCC has also featured highly in State events, having played host to 12 consecutive National Day Rallies from 2002 to 2012 as well as eight consecutive National Day Investiture Awards Ceremonies from 2009 to 2016.
Managed by NUS Centre For the Arts, which aims to integrate the arts into university life, the refurbished UCC offers new features for both guests and artists, including new seating, lighting and interior features, as well as a refreshed green room and VIP lounge. The operational efficiency of UCC has also improved in terms of cost, energy usage and production requirements.
From left: Prof Tan; Prof Yong Kwet Yew, Acting Deputy President (Administration) and Senior Vice President (Campus Infrastructure); Prof Lim Pin, NUS University Professor and former Vice Chancellor, and Ms Sharon Tan, CFA Director trying out the new seats in the UCC Hall
The upgraded UCC Hall offers 1,700 newly upgraded seats spread over three levels, acoustic shelling that delivers optimum sound across the hall as well as updated technical production infrastructure. New lighting and air-conditioning round off the enhancements to the Hall.
Situated on level one next to UCC Hall, UCC Theatre offers guests an intimate performance venue. With 425 upgraded seats over three levels, the Theatre features an all-new seat retraction system that allows it to effectively host both seated and standing events.
NUS Dance Synergy, a member of CFA, was one of the first dance groups to present a show at the revamped UCC Theatre
A new addition to UCC is the Atrium, created from a formerly underutilised courtyard. The cosy space is able to accommodate 120 seated or 220 standing guests and features a retractable wall that allows it to be blended with the UCC lobby. Boasting ceiling-height glass panels that look out to the greenery of the UCC grounds, the light-infused Atrium can be used for functions, events and performances.
" The UCC enriches the NUS community through the opportunities this venue creates for our students to discover, develop and grow." — Prof Tan Eng Chye, NUS President
Other enhancements to UCC include an expanded porch which provides guests with greater protection from the elements, as well as the conversion of the former twin curved staircases into a single sweeping broader staircase. The latter allows arriving guests to enjoy a clear view of the Theatre, Hall, Atrium and NUS Museum from the main entrance. A green roof and LED lighting help to reduce the building’s environmental impact.
Ms Tan showing Prof Tan the new sweeping staircase
Artworks from NUS Museum’s extensive collection have been introduced into and around UCC, including sculptures, paintings and ceramics by local artists such as Mr Ng Eng Teng, Mr Iskandar Jalil, Mr Chong Fah Cheong, Ms Delia Prvacki and Mr Milenko Prvacki.
In the opening address during the unveiling of UCC, NUS President Professor Tan Eng Chye said that although UCC had hosted many grand occasions and exceptional people, its value to the NUS community goes beyond these signature events. “The UCC enriches the NUS community through opportunities this venue creates for our students to discover, develop and grow,” he elaborated. Calling UCC the cultural heart of the University, Prof Tan said that it is a place where students find their voice. “For some this will be as professional artists, but for many others, this will be as confident, resourceful global citizens, who are able to appreciate and harness the power of the arts, in their personal lives and in whichever career they choose,” he said.
See media coverage.