Opening of The Children’s House in Rijeka – A Unique Facility in Croatia
In the new cultural art-quarter located in the former factory complex Rikard Benčić, the third building was ceremoniously opened. This one is the most special, cheerful and colorful, and represents one of the most beautiful stories of the European Capital of Culture (EcoC) in Rijeka. The Children’s House is a cultural centre intended for children, which has not existed in Croatia so far, and does not exist in the surrounding countries.
The opening of the Children's House was attended by President of the Republic of Croatia, Zoran Milanović, who expressed satisfaction and admiration for the realisation of a unique cultural facility in Croatia.
“Children will come here – let them not forget to go to the playgrounds, let them not forget the ball, the pool and the athletics hall – but it is the culture of the heart that makes us citizens,” said President Milanović.
Congratulating the mayor of Rijeka and his associates and all cultural workers on the achievement of the opening of the Children's House, Croatian Minister of Culture Nina Obuljen Koržinek referred to the past year, when Rijeka carried the ECoC title in not at all simple pandemic conditions.
“We are closing this year with achievements and legacy, which is extremely valuable and would not have happened in this city without the ECoC title. The Children's House is a completely special space, a new concept in architectural, but especially in terms of content, which will offer children a wide range of culture, creativity and, more importantly, allow them to create and express themselves creatively. I am sure that the children of Rijeka will be ennobled for the rest of their lives.
In this way, we turn to the children and young people and we can instill in them a love for art and culture and thus awaken their creativity. In this way, we create successful and aware citizens, citizens who will pull society forward.”
The construction of the cultural district, i.e. the renovation of these industrial heritage buildings, is the largest investment in culture since the beginning of the period of independent Croatia. The transformation of the Brick Building into and Children's House is part of the Revitalization of the Benčić Brick and T-Building complex project. This project is funded by the Structural Funds and the European Regional Development Fund under the Operational Program "Competitiveness and Cohesion" 2014-2020. The total value of the project is 162.1 million kuna, of which 68.2 million kuna was financed by non-refundable EU funds, 10 million kuna by the Ministry of Regional Development and EU funds, and the rest by the City of Rijeka.