Tranzit House: intercultural creativity in action

Tranzit House: the first cultural center in Cluj

Born in 1997 as the consequence of the need of filling the social-cultural void in the city of Cluj, Tranzit House was the first cultural center in the city.

The Refill team had the chance to visit Tranzit House during the Refill Transnational meeting, 20-22 September, both to discuss with the representatives of Tranzit Foundation and to enjoy the final summer party of the Municipality of Cluj-Napoca.

Intercultural Creativity in action

Tranzit is a private foundation that promotes experimental, contemporary art. The Foundation gradually reconstructs a ruined building and transforms it to a centre for contemporary art. Its general objective is to enhance the communication between artists, intellectuals from different domains of activity and other social-professional groups as well as between different ethnic groups in order to mobilise intercultural creativity in the region.

tranzit-house-2

An excellent example of reconversion of an empty space

Tranzit House is established next to the Someșul river, in a part of an old aluminium factory, which operated as a synagogue between 1921 and 1974 and a storehouse later on. Due to the lack of proper care, it had been gradually degraded in a short period. The building was rented from the Jewish Communities Federation in 1997. Although in advanced state of decay, the architectural structure of the synagogue proved to be an excellent space for artistic activities. Tranzit Foundation which runs the Tranzit House project, managed to fill the empty space of the synagogue periodically with shows, exhibitions, conferences, etc. On the other hand, it has partially renovated the building, remodelled the courtyard and built and opened part of the Nameless street.

Reconversion has been a key word in Tranzit’s artistic program. Since the beginning of the project, artists have sought to define the meanings of the emptied space of the synagogue. The artistic approaches raised the idea of the reconstruction of the space of Tranzit in an integrative manner, in the urban landscape of Cluj, as the building of Tranzit House is part of a whole architectural complex. In the future, they plan to improve the remaining part of the building and to initiate an urban project for bringing back the whole street and one destroyed bridge into the city’s public space.

During all this time, Tranzit House has worked hundreds of volunteers coming from different age, ethnic and professional groups and has been an integral part of the intercultural artistic identity of the city of Cluj-Napoca.

Find more information on Transit House at http://www.tranzithouse.ro/

Text and pictures by Vassilis Stamogiannis from SynAthina
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