Young professionals from contemporary arts and culture as well as social work and art therapy create NGO Truc sphérique. With the aim to develop creativity to be open to the new forms of art, since 1998 it has been realizing various projects including projects on education in the field of art and social activities, presentations of contemporary art and leisure-time creative workshops. Since 2000, it runs the Atelier creative center in Zilina, with workshops for 150 regular and 100 others occasional participants, and a space "7.4 x 4.4" dedicated to performing arts. Truc spherique organizing a film festival and has been also a producer and organizer of a few international theatre, visual art and dance projects, short fiction and documentary films.
Truc Sphérique organization invested officially Zariecie Railway Station in Zilina on September 18th 2003, where a large multimedia platform « Stanica » (Station) connecting all the existing activities and developing them opened. Residential program, new media and graphic art projects, larger artistic performing program menu thanks to bigger space have their place there. They built a gallery connected with waiting and reading room, with coffee bar and Internet access.
Former use: The Concept of the still operating railway station station Zilina / Zariecie reconstruction, reckons with preservation of the condition, in which the building has been built originally in 1945. The railway, linking Zilina to Rajec, has been opened on 1899, enriching development of region. The original building from the year 1945, in which we realize the project, is a one-stored building with the area of more than 300 square meters. Most of the inevitable interventions will be of technical character, in accordance with its new use and safety. Also the surrounding of the railway station will undergo "reconstruction".
Total surface of the site: Usable interior surface: 650 m2 Surface of the building on the floor level: 300 m2
Zilina is the 4th largest city of Slovakia and it is also employment and cultural center of the region. The Zilina region is located in the north/west part of the country, close to Czech and Polish boarders. Zilina is situated in the valleys of Vah and Kysuca rivers, surrounded by mountains of Mala Fatra and by many isolated and poor villages.
The Railway Station is located near the city center, in the direction to Banova and Zavodie outskirts, standing in the middle of a circle overpass called Rondel. We introduce a piece of living space and natural safety into the industrial zone. It’s accessible trough underground stairs and a little way behind. Rondel is crossed by railway of course, but also by a main road. The rail line leading from the Railway Station to Rajec gives the chance to little isolated villages to be connected with the Zilina and with the cultural and social activities.
Foundation year of the center: Truc Sphérique has been created on 1998 September 30th. The space « Stanica » opened on 18 September 2003.
Type of occupation: « Stanica » is free-lending contract trough the Railways of the Slovak Republic (ZSR).
Owner of the building: The Railways of the Slovak Republic (ZSR).
Infrastructures / Facilities
Uniqueness of the project lies in keeping the original function of the building as a railway station, waiting room and a place of ticket sale, in connection with using the space for creative art and social activities. It joins a cultural center and a public space (a railway station) in an original way; it is a multifunctional multigenerational open place, naturally attracting people. The open cultural space Railway Station is an original way of using the space of the Zilina-Zariecie railway station, located on the rail line leading from Zilina to Rajec. It blows a pulsating life into this space; it changes the railway station into a space for art and culture, as well as for social and community activities. It involves a wide range of people - children, young people, adults, artists and spectators, but also passengers and random walkers. There is a waiting room with a ticket sale office in the front part of the building, a flat and a few other rooms in the back part. There are also underground rooms and a slate roof (attic) destined for reconstruction. It is possible to access the building by two entrances, one situated at the front side, leading from the track and the other at the backside, from a small garden. The surface could be divided like this (present like is it in the project):
Place open to passengers and visitors during all the day: A gallery (60m2) and a waiting room (36m2) directly connected with the main entrance provide access to visual art exhibitions for a wide range of people, especially children, young people, adults, artists and spectators, but also for passengers and random walkers. There is also a selling room for travel tickets (8m2) of the line Zilina - Rajec, and a cafe with Internet access, connected with the reading room (28m2).
Creative and educational workshops: There is a special room for fine art workshops on the ground floor (24m2) with direct access to the garden for outside activities with children. On the underground level there are rooms for ceramic and modeling workshop (38m2), one room for new media and graphic workshops with computers (22m2) and a dark room for photography (8m2).
Room for performing arts: This room in the attic on the first floor is 208 m2 large, with capacity for 100 sitting and 200 standing people. It is designed for concerts and theatre. The entrance to this room leads trough the « foyer » (30 m2), the central room on the first floor that is also connected with the office, resident’s bedroom and toilet.
Places for artists in residence: Residential artists can use all stuff from « Stanica » and have also private room, the working room on the ground floor (15 m2) and a flat (15 m2) with all the equipment and sanitary on the 1st floor.
Offices: The two offices are reserved for the members of Truc Sphérique. There is the working office (20 m2) on the first floor and the meeting room (10 m2) on the ground floor.
For the moment there are also spaces for workers of the railway company. They have separated room in the building and they have their own entrance (total 40 m2).
Social and artistic disciplines
Including operating of the railway station and the ticket sale for the Zilina-Rajec rail line, the program structure is divided into open and mutually connected sections. Reconstructed rooms, multifunctional of the space and modern technical equipment are a condition for wide spectrum of activities that, finally, will exceed its size many times (present like is it writing in the project, like some actions are already in our actual space in Atelier).
Gallery/ Expositional program
The space of entrance, the waiting room and the gallery room are places for presentation of Slovak and foreign visual artists’ expositions and for presentation of the outcomes of creative workshops and residential program. They are free and easy to access to provide connection between artists’ productions, passengers and all kinds of visitors. Exhibitions are mostly about new media, video, photos and others visuals arts installations.
Reading room, information center, Internet, cafe
...Aimed at treatises and magazines about art and culture, art catalogues; gives information about cultural events and other possibilities as well like buying train our exhibition tickets. It fulfils the function of a "restful time-pass" for the passengers during waiting for their train (daily press, coffee, tea, internet, cultural and social information).
Creative workshops in various fields of art, with stress laid at non-traditional methods and techniques will be a part of ateliers’ use. They are open to different groups of public: children, young or adults interested in arts, students or young artists. The workshops are for the moment based on ceramics, painting, drawing, photo and video, paper and tissue, modeling, and many other techniques for children from 4 years old.
Theatre/ Performing arts :
This is a way to define the multifunctional space, the largest room in the attic of the station, dedicated to theatre, dance and music workshops and presentation of chamber performances and concerts. Technical equipment of the room enables its use for organization of lectures, presentations, projections and conferences in various fields,
Residential program :
Young artists from Slovakia and abroad will have a possibility to work for one to three months in the studio and to use the available technical stuff and equipment. Schools, children, young people and all the visitors can meet the artists directly at work, to see and discuss their works with them.
Voluntary center :
Truc spherique is a hosting organization in the European Voluntary Service program and it offers one-year lasting internships to the young people from European countries. We also operate as a sending organization for the young people from Slovakia. We offer them voluntary internship in our projects, as well.
Social program/ Art therapy
...that stands on the possibilities of using art in work with physically, mentally and socially handicapped and marginalized groups. Educational and therapeutically lead workshops in the field of art therapy are realized partly in the space of Railway Station, partly in partner institutions.
Thanks to direct connection by the railway, the people from the municipalities laying by the track way of the Rajec Valley region will gain a chance to participate on the offered activities - their timetable will be approximated to the arrivals and departures of the trains. We have been doing activities for the Zilina’s community and we want to work on intercultural actions against racisms.
Other structures/organizations resident on the site
The Railway Station is an open space also for other organizations’ single cultural and social activities, projects, presentations and others. There is no ones which are really established in our space, but some of them, manly from social or art therapy field, are using sometimes our spaces for seminars or workshops.
The mean part of financial support for "Stanica" project is coming from this funds quote after, but we get also some others grants for sides projects.
ZSR - Railways of the Slovak Republic
National Agency for Youth Mobility/ European Union’s Youth program
Children of Slovakia Foundation/ Hour for Children Fund
Foundation-Center for Contemporary Arts Bratislava/Cultural policy subcomponent of the Arts and Culture Network Program of the Open Society Institute, Budapest.
We have actually a large informal network, grouping cultural organizations mainly from Slovakia, Czech Republic and Poland, but also from Luxembourg, but also quite lot of social institution from Zilina surrounding. This networks is quickly developing to west and north Europe. A lot of technical co-operation support our activities. Also we have some supportive attitude from local institutions, some village institutions situated on the way to Rajec.
More information about the Zilina project