Wed, Nov 14, 2012 - Page 3 News List

Academics urge NTU rethink

BUILDING PROPOSAL:One professor called the building ‘too tall’ and ‘strange,’ while another referred to it as an ‘extreme exaggeration’ and ‘a show-off display’

By Lee I-chia  /  Staff reporter

Academics and alumni of National Taiwan University (NTU) yesterday urged the school to reevaluate its plan to construct a new building for the humanities, which they say will damage the historical ambiance and beautiful scenery on campus.

The project did not pass an Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) and the university was asked to submit more information for further evaluation.

Prior to the EIA meeting to assess eight construction projects planned for the university’s campus at the Environmental Protection Administration (EPA) yesterday morning, academics, alumni and student representatives held a press conference, calling for a review of the plan.

Chang Hsiao-hung (張小虹), an alumnus and a professor at the department of foreign languages and literature, said the proposed building for the humanities is be too tall, does not match the existing buildings on campus and would become a strange landmark.

Showing a graphic of the planned building, Chang added that the planned height of the building already exceeded the height limit regulated for buildings on the campus.

Yeh Chi-jeng (葉啟政), a honorary professor in the department of sociology, said the planned building “appears like an extreme exaggeration, a show-off display of vulgar nouveau riche.”

An NTU alumnus and writer Chu Tien-hsin (朱天心) said the design of the building, which is to be built beside the entrance of the campus, does not respect the collective memories of teachers and students.

Leu Chin-wen (呂欽文), an architect and a board member of the Organization of Urban Re-s (OURs), said the building project shows how the university is ready to damage its historical and cultural traditions in the pursuit of financial gain.

The academics and alumni urged the school to launch another public tender to design the build and to prioritize respect for historical architecture and cultural heritage.

The university’s administration said some academics have complained about not having enough space, and that the plan for the building has been modified more than 10 times in the past few years because the previous plans were also criticized.

The EIA meeting concluded that the school’s administration has to provide more information which addresses the committee members’ concerns.

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