The Children’s House in Rijeka is the fourth infrastructure facility of the Rijeka 2020 ECoC project to be renovated soon. Its programme is jointly created by four cultural facilities, as well as several associations and organisations from Rijeka.

A contract has been signed today between the City of Rijeka and the company ING-GRAD d.o.o. from Zagreb, who will execute reconstruction works on the Brick House of the Benčić complex in Rijeka and repurpose it into the Children’s House. The contract for the reconstruction, which will cost 41.7 million HRK, has been signed by the Mayor of Rijeka Vojko Obersnel and ING-GRAD d.o.o. board member Srđan Jončić. The designer of the prospective Children’s House is the architect Saša Randić.

This is the fourth infrastructure facility of the Rijeka 2020 – European Capital of Culture project to be renovated and will open in 2020 The first phase of the Rijeka Museum of Modern and Contemporary Art was completed during the previous period, followed by RiHub on Grohovac Street in Rijeka, while renovation works on the Sugar Refinery Palace, which will house the City Museum of Rijeka upon completion, commenced a year ago.

Rijeka has signed a contract today with the company ING-GRAD, which was selected based on a tender, and which has already conducted a number of renovation and conservation projects on monuments and cultural heritage across Croatia. They are especially looking forward to this project in Rijeka, since, in the words of board member Jončić – It is a great honour and a tremendous challenge to be working on a building that is entirely intended for children, in the best and most creative way possible.

The Mayor of Rijeka emphasised that this project displays the synergy, togetherness and entwining of ideas, since there are no less than four cultural facilities in Rijeka that are jointly coming up with the content for the prospective Children’s House – Art Kino, Rijeka City Library, the City Puppet Theatre, and the Museum of Modern and Contemporary Art – as well as  associations and independent organisations, such as the Benčić Youth Council etc. Also, the Children’s House in Rijeka is the first of its kind in Croatia, with the nearest such house located in Ljubljana (House of Children and Art).

The content of the Children’s House is intended for children between the ages of 0 and 12 and the house will be open all day. As has been pointed out at today’s signing of the contract, culture in the Children’ House includes so much more than just content you can watch, listen to or read – it is devised, created, shared and received. In that sense, making animated movies in a movie studio, making video reports, creating music in a music studio, playing video games on the big screen of the screening hall, making video games, product design and 3D printing, storytelling theatre at the small amphitheatre on the roof of the house, “sweet“ interactive baby theatre, doll-making, “sensory“ theatre for children with a special emphasis on working with children with developmental disabilities, customised movie screenings for children with developmental disabilities, daily movie screenings for children, playroom at the library etc. are just some of the planned activities that the Children’s House will offer in one place to children and their parents once it is constructed and furnished.

The reconstruction of the Brick House into the Children’s House will be carried out as part of the Operational programme Competitiveness and Cohesion 2014-2020 included in the Integrated Territorial Investment as part of the Rijeka Urban Agglomeration. Rijeka has received EU grants in the amount of 68.21 million HRK for the refurbishment of the Children’s House and the City Library.