PLANS to develop a Zen garden near the UCD restaurant are currently in their final stages of planning and it is expected to be finished in time for the second semester. The construction work outside the main restaurant is expected to be ready in late January or early February.
UCD Commercial Manager, Gary Moss, said that the purpose of the development was to improve the appearance of the restaurant and make it more appealing for students. “It’s to upgrade the look of the restaurant, modernise it and make it more in tune with student needs,” explained Mr Moss. “At the end of the day, the idea is to improve the appearance of this building, which is now 30 years-old.”
Mr Moss commented that the building and the surroundings were in need of refurbishment and improvement. “The downstairs area [outside Rendezvous], it’s a bit of a no go area, it’s rather dead,” said Mr Moss. “There was just a bit of old gravel and a bit of shrubbery round the wall. It needs something substantial done to it.”
It is hoped that the garden, when completed, will add vibrancy to its surroundings and would complement the further refurbishments that occurring outside Rendezvous.
Mr Moss portrayed the Zen garden as a place of relaxation and explained that students “will have a nice viewing platform… people will go down and meditate if they want to but they’ll get the full benefit in that area.”
It is hoped that the finished development of both the garden and the outside area of Rendezvous would create, according to Mr Moss, “a full-vision effect of the area… so [that] it pools the two areas together.”
The developments are being funded by a private donor and, according to Mr Moss; the donor “wanted the expenditure to be spent for the students and for the catering service.”
Other developments taking place in the building include the refurbishment of Rendezvous, the installation of SUAS computers along and the remodelling of the outdoor area.
When describing Rendezvous, Mr Moss declared that “there is seating in there for about one hundred and fifty students and in many ways it’s the first space of its kind in UCD.”
The developments are part of the UCD Campus Development Plan 2010 – 2015. The plan aims to enhance the quality of campus life for students and staff and aims to increase UCD’s rankings as one of the top universities in the world.