Košice suburbs revived by culture

Košice residents will have better access to culture once again. With two already functioning cultural exchangers, arts made it to suburbs and housing estates. Early this week, three new exchangers were launched as part of the Košice 2013 and SPOTs projects in Košice to offer cultural, scientific, and sports activities for people of all ages.    

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Three former heat exchanger stations were reconstructed recently, then converted into community centres, and launched this Monday by the representatives of Košice city and of Košice – European Capital of Culture 2013 n.o. (non-profit organisation). The exchangers in ĽUdová, Važecká and Wuppertál Streets will belong to a network of community centres, where the SPOTs project team is in charge of their operation and programme. Two renovated buildings, in Brigádnická and Obrody Streets, are already fully functional and public interest in their use is increasing constantly. In summer this year, sixth exchanger will be added, located in Štítová Street.

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“We are launching three new suburban cultural centres, through which we can involve our residents in artistic and cultural events. Thus, we provide them an opportunity to spend their free time in a meaningful and cultivated manner. Dance, in-line skating, indoor skating, competitions, film screenings, workshops and various discussion forums are now closer and more accessible to Košice residents than ever before. I would like to thank everyone for their patience during construction work on these cultural centres. I believe that people will utilise these reconstructed heat exchanger stations not only during the extraordinary year 2013 but also later,” said Richard Raši, Mayor of Košice.     

The solemn opening ceremony with a rich cultural program was held on Monday 22nd April at 18:00 in the exchanger in Važecká Street. During the opening week of the 20th to 28th April, visitors could see and experience a skateboard extravaganza (the exchanger in Ľudová Street), learn something new again in the popular science series of extremely popular lectures entitled Scientific Cafeteria, watch films, actively participate in workshops, and contribute their ideas and insights on how to help create further programme and how to proceed during the Open Stage discussion.

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It is the next stage in the life of the SPOTs project team, but also in the life of suburbs, where we will be active every day. These are challenges for future projects together with artists and residents, there are many opportunities to learn something new and meet interesting people. It is like a different wind in the sails. I very much believe that all visitors and residents of housing estates and suburbs will enjoy not only the architectural design of the heat exchanger stations, but mainly the programme that we are preparing for them in the coming months. I hope that variously focused and vibrant groups will form here, and we will be able to plan with them the future programme and interesting art projects not only in 2013, but especially in the future,” revealed the SPOTs project manager Blanka Berkyová about the plans.

The total value of the exchangers reconstruction, carried out by the company PKB invest, s.r.o., is € 1,236,163.76 including VAT. The complex rebuilding of the objects allowed creating multifunctional rooms for cultural and social activities, and facilities for staff and visitors. Also roofs were redesigned to create their functional use, and landscaping and park treatment improved the surroundings. For more information about the individual exchangers and their programe, visit www.vymenniky.sk. Learn more about the SPOTs profect at www.spots.sk.

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