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The University Center, commonly known as the UCen, is the central hub of the university. From the starting point of the tour at the Arts building, walk east, with Storke Tower on your left, to the next building. Placed along the campus lagoon, the UCen contains the University Bookstore, The Hub concert venue, university post office, campus printing facility, and many restaurants and quick food options. Along the eastern side of the building, an addition to the original 1964 building includes the Corwin Pavilion event center and the Multicultural Center.

University Center, view from the campus lagoon

building with trail and water

From the ADC Collection: A rendering of the UCEN circa 1966

Sky, Building, Plant, Tree

The UCen has been the recipient of many alterations and additions throughout the years. The original building was constructed in 1964, and was designed by the local Santa Barbara architecture firm Arendt, Mosher, and Grant. The three story building was placed alongside the campus lagoon, with ample seating areas and a large swath of green grass, giving students a respite from the hustle and bustle within the building.

The main entrance to the UCen faces Storke Plaza and Storke Tower, and contains the bookstore, Starbucks, and ample seating areas for individual and group study. Multiple hallways lead past administrative offices towards the main food court and The Hub concert venue. The lower level provides more food options, additional seating, conference rooms, and post office. Additionally, the UCen provides office space for the Associated Students Food Bank, Basic Needs Services, and the Community Housing Office.

An addition to the original building in the early 1990s created space for the Corwin Pavilion Event Center, an outdoor plaza, and an additional stand-alone building housing the Associated Students offices, Graduate Student center, and the MultiCultural Center and Theater. Corwin Pavilion is a large, flexible event space which can be rented for department and external events. And the plaza is utilized throughout the year for conference lunches, career fairs, and other social gatherings.

UCSB Campus Architecture Website, Accessed May 19th 2021.

Image Sources(Click to expand)

Photo by Julia Larson

Architecture and Design Collection, UC Santa Barbara