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One-of-a-kind art therapy centre to open in Ostrava

With its programme for students with disabilities, the facility is without precedent in Czechia

  • April 25, 2020 20:00
  • Author Aseniya Dimitrova
Medium art therapy centre in ostrava
Source: Visualization of a new art therapy center Skořápka / City of Ostrava

A unique Municipal Centre for Art Therapies will soon open its doors in Ostrava, announced the local authority earlier this week. The facility will have the poetic name Skořápka (eggshell from Czech) and will be located in Mariánské Hory district.

The centre will be hosted in the reconstructed building of the former kindergarten in Mariánské Hory a Hulváky district in U Dvoru Street. This was made possible after the city council of Ostrava approved the winner for the public contract for the building’s refurbishment.

A unique programme for children with disabilities

The two-storey building will have a kitchen and a ceramics workshop with a kiln and a potter's wheel. In the basement, there will be a room with special acoustics for percussion instruments, music therapy and rhythmic therapy.

On the second floor, one will find the classrooms for music, art and handicraft disciplines and in the foyer, there will be exhibition spaces and a place for waiting parents. A multi-purpose mirror hall will be installed on the ground floor, as well as a day hospital for mentally handicapped children. The whole building will have a completely barrier-free social background for pupils and teachers.

The school does not examine talent, it accepts all applicants, and offers a unique program for handicapped students, which is unparalleled in the country in terms of complexity" believes Zbyněk Pražák, Deputy Mayor for Social Affairs.

The most significant modification to the original building will be the creation of a new communication node in front of the building. A new staircase will be built with a covered entrance and an access ramp for persons with a disability. A set of photovoltaic panels will be installed on the roof so that the building ranks high in sustainability.

Skořápka will be part of the People's Conservatory and the Music School of Ostrava and will serve as out-of-school art education. Intoza company, the winner among six applicants offered the lowest price of CZK 26.1 million with VAT.

The Skořápky project has taken long and complex preparation and years later, it can become a reality. The city council considered it particularly important for the planned investment to continue despite the pandemic situation and the economic downturn. The reconstruction is thus expected to start in the second half of May and to last for 30 weeks.

Skořápka – protecting the vulnerable

The name of the centre refers to its meaning – as one that protects the new, nascent life, the weakest and most vulnerable, the handicapped, and helps them find and develop their talent through artistic activities, explained the school principal Miloslava Soukupová.

The People's Conservatory and the Ostrava School of Music are vital parts of the city of Ostrava and together have over a thousand pupils. Of the five hundred pupils in the music school, two-thirds are disabled.

The conservatory is housed in two buildings in Přívoz. The music school has a building in Mariánské Hory. In addition to artistic disciplines, it also offers therapeutic disciplines, which are aimed at effective assistance in the treatment of disabilities.

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