It gives me great pleasure to share with you the news about our recent joint project with Europe House on their fourth anniversary – the Architecture Workshop for Children: Museums of Skopje. We focused on four major museums in Skopje to commemorate the 60th anniversary of the 1963 massive earthquake and its impact on the city and its people.
For me, as an architect who has been actively working with children in recent years, non-formal education for young learners in various fields is particularly important for discovering their passions and skills, and architecture is undoubtedly one of the most significant.
Over the last few years, I’ve come to realize that children have an incredible ability for spatial awareness and perception, and with careful and tactful guidance, they can offer incredibly creative and unique concepts and solutions to a given task.
I would like to emphasize the importance of teaching children about their city’s architecture from an early age and exposing them to various aspects of urban life. This includes understanding movement in public spaces, recognising the importance of parks, greenery and bicycle lanes, appreciating the aesthetics of the built environment, getting acquainted with significant buildings, and more. Through this, children gradually develop critical thinking, becoming aware of the positive aspects as well as the shortcomings or limitations of architectural solutions in urban planning or their surroundings in general, so that in the future they are better equipped to take proactive measures.
As part of a series of architecture workshops for children, this workshop was led together with the architects Milka Čerepnalkovska, Maja Donovski Lukarevska and Martina Petkovska. The children were offered models from Skopje’s four major museums and by explaining their spatial context in conversation with the educators they decided how would they intervene. Their results and presentations were extraordinary and the children’s unanimous conclusion was – “We should visit museums more often!”
I am grateful to Europe House for this initiative and the great logistics and organization, and I look forward to future collaborations.
– Margarita Popovska, architect
Europe House’s 4th Birthday – SKOPJE OF THE NEW GENERATION
The Central Post Office in Skopje is a worthy testament to resilience and reconstruction emerging in the immediate aftermath of the devastating earthquake in 1963. Its distinctive shape and architectural style have become synonymous with the city’s strength and determination to rebuild. Today, as the iconic brutalist building reaches its 60th anniversary, Europe House Skopje has initiated the architectural competition “Skopje of the New Generation” to celebrate this powerful symbol of cultural heritage and to make a room for the fresh ideias of the New Generation`s creative minds.
Choosing the Central Post Office for our celebration was not arbitrary. It reflects a shared commitment to transfer and foster a sense of solidarity to future generations. The city’s rich history, marked by challenges and triumphs, is embodied in this architectural marvel, making it a fitting focal point for our 4th Birthday Celebration.
In the quest for a sustainable future for the capital, Europe House Skopje has turned to the creative minds of young architects and urban planners. The conceptual solutions presented by these emerging professionals was showcased in the Central Post Office in Skopje, providing a glimpse into the potential challenges and transformations that lie ahead.
The celebratory program commenced with a captivating performance by the adult mixed choir Dragan Šuplevski from the Faculty of Music, Ss. Cyril and Methodius University in Skopje. Under the baton of Prof Sasho Tatarčevski, the choir set the tone for an evening filled with artistic expression and celebration.
The pinnacle of the event was the announcement of the architectural competition winners. The third prize was awarded to Natali Veleska, Alen Cvetkovski, and Dona Mitrovska for their Spinex Project. The second prize went to Daniela Vasileva, Sara Veleska, and Sara Trajkova for their innovative project, Reimagining the Coloured Waves, a structure installed along the Dimitar Vlahov Quay on the Vardar River.
The first prize-winner was the visionary architect Antonio Grujevski and his Lotus for Her Fountain in the City Park. The aim of his project – to “spice up” the architectural scene – resonated with the judges, emphasizing the importance of moving beyond discussions of the past.
The competition was organized in parthership with International Balkan University, University American College Skopje (UACS), MIT University, Faculty of Social Sciences (FON), and the University of St. Cyril and Methodius in Skopje.
“I must note that in one month we are in Skopje 2024, and almost all politicians and some of our colleagues are still talking about Skopje 2014. The world is moving forward, Europe is moving forward. We have challenges with climate change, with energy independence and with eco-pollution on which we must focus and join the visions of the European Union” – 1st award winning prize, Antonio Grujevski
In giving voice to young professionals, we aimed to provided a platform for fresh ideas and perspectives, ensuring that Skopje’s legacy continues to evolve and inspire. The architectural competition bears testament to the city’s commitment to progress, embracing change, and fostering a vibrant future for generations to come.
Celebrating Children’s Month with Architecture journey, STEM Robotics Workshops, Cave Adventures, and Book Club Magic
Architecture Workshop for Children: THE MUSEUMS OF SKOPJE
Skopje of the youngest generation!
Within the birthday celebration events of Europe House Skopje, we organized the first Architecture Workshop for Children: THE MUSEUMS OF SKOPJE.
Our youngest participants had the opportunity to learn more about the cultural heritage of their hometown through its four largest museums: the Museum of the City of Skopje, The National Gallery of Macedonia Daut Pashin Hamam, the Museum of Contemporary Art and the Museum of Macedonia. Encouraged to let their imaginations run wild, they showed us what Skopje would look like from a child architect’s perspective.
We fell in love with all their suggestions!
Bursting with curiosity, they created their miniature architectural masterpieces under the mentorship of the architects Margarita Popovska, Milka Čerepnalkovska, Maja Donovski Lukarevska and Martina Petkovska.
They presented their solutions using various techniques in a fun and interactive way, including collages, drawings and models. The project not only fostered creativity but also enhanced the problem-solving skills of the young participants.
LEGO Robotics Workshop:
In the heart of our Child Month celebration, kids faced the thrilling challenge of assembling LEGO bricks, transforming them into robots powered by cutting-edge advancements in robotics. Conducted by passionate educators from STEM Academy, the workshop not only focused on technical skills but also nurtured critical thinking. The lively atmosphere led to an explosion of excitement and enthusiasm among the young learners, setting the stage for a future generation of tech-savvy innovators eager to embrace the possibilities of robotics.
Speleological Adventure: Unveiling Secrets in the Cave World of November
As November unfolded, young explorers embarked on an unforgettable speleological adventure, exploring the wonders of the Cave World together with the Ursus Speleos Organization. Led by Dr Biljana Gičevski and Berker Samet, the children delved into the mysteries of caves and speleological equipment. Each participant not only gained knowledge and skills but also received a special gift – the book “The Secrets of Macedonian Caves” and a diploma. Congratulations echoed for these young researchers who boldly ventured into the depths of knowledge during this captivating exploration.
Book Club Europe House Kids: Autumn Tales in November’s Embrace
Immersed in the enchanting atmosphere of autumn leaves and cosy scarves, the third instalment of Book Club Europe House Kids unfolded. Guided by Ana Golejška Džikova, children immersed themselves in the beautifully illustrated pages of their beloved “Lisickata Pletacka” story. The workshop, adorned with the spirit of November, served as a magical space where dry leaves and gloves became props, enriching their experience. As the children uncovered the forest’s secrets, they also discovered the joy of reading, making this book club session a memorable chapter in their literary journey.
Celebrating World Children’s Month with these diverse and engaging events, each tailored to ignite a passion for learning and exploration has undoubtedly left a long-lasting impact on the young participants. Through architecture, robotics, cave adventures, and the book club magic, November has become a month of inspiration, curiosity, and celebration for the bright minds shaping our future.
Kids Empowered: Rights in Action in Europe House Kriva Palanka
In celebration of World Children’s Day, Europe House Kriva Palanka organized a series of activities named “Kids Empowered: Rights in Action” to enlighten and empower children under the slogan “I have a right to know my rights.” Throughout November, the Europe House Kriva Palanka’s venue grew into a hub of learning and enjoyment for the youngest members of our community.
The festivities included movie screenings of European Cinema for children that emphasized the importance of supporting and respecting one another. Fun quizzes added an element of excitement, allowing kids to test their knowledge interactively and playfully. The event highlights were the educational workshops on human rights, where children actively participated in activities designed to deepen their understanding of their rights and responsibilities. By trying to put a spotlight on the youngest and dearest members of our society, Europe House Kriva Palanka created a safe space for fostering awareness and empowerment among children.
Reading Caravan for Children at Europe House Strumica
Europe House Strumica, from its series of events held in November, singles out the World Children’s Day celebration as the most significant. We raised awareness about the needs and challenges facing children today through various activities.
Europe House Strumica and the Blagoj Jankov Mučeto Library marked World Children’s Day in the City Gallery-Strumica, thus completing the Reading Caravan for elementary school pupils living in the city and the region.
Let us unite in a joint effort to protect the rights of every child and ensure quality education and well-being for all. There is no doubt about it: young children are the most valuable agents of change!
Children’s Music Club in Europe House Bitola
Music class for preschool children!
Culture shapes us all from an early age and helps us develop into adult individuals who bring about changes in society. Music plays a significant role in almost every culture around the world. Learning to play an instrument enhances cognitive skills, improves memory, and boosts creativity in children. On our musical journey, the young participants had a brief introduction to the history of music and the instrument in focus – the piano, including what kind of material is used, how sound is created and produced, and what possibilities this instrument offers. They could also attend a live performance of iconic classical pieces and try out how to play this musical instrument.
This music class was the second in a row from the series of classes happening once a month at Europe House Bitola, led by young musicians and professionals. On the one hand, we support music enthusiasts to do what they enjoy and are passionate about. On the other hand, we reach out to the little ones because music education helps kids grow creatively, socially, and culturally.
Europe House Veles United in Diversity – Marking International Day of Persons with Disabilities
On 27th November, Europe House Veles and POU Maca Ovčarova joined hands with the global community to honour the abilities, resilience, and unique contributions of persons with disabilities.
We celebrated the art of possibility by organizing an art workshop on ecology, where children from several local schools assumed their empowerment, triumph and talent through their work.
The youth in Veles showed once again that diversity is our strength and a proven path for the community to work towards creating a more inclusive world for persons with disabilities.
Let’s amplify the diverse and powerful voices of those who inspire us and challenge our perceptions!