Nikolay Shahpazov

Nikolay Shahpazov, who is currently studying at the Architectural Association, UK, entered the Architects for Health’s First Student Health Design Award (2007) with the following submission. For contact please email:

Sculpting The Time – Lobby For The Island Of Capri

The unit research is on dramatic sensual processes encountered in films, novels, personal experiences and observations. This field presents misplaced possibilities imported from the fields of philosophy, physics, and culinary and human emotions. Our building materials are the cinematic aspects of the energy transformed appearances like light, air, water, fire and duration and a solid experimental technical study. The aim is dematerialization of solid materiality up to its only recognition through processes of human initiatives.

The unit takes the island of Capri, it’s Malaparte’s famous villa and Jean Luc Godard’s ‘Le Melons’ as critical starting point, to discover the ‘Hotel Lobby’, a place surrounded by mystery. These happened around the idea for a lobby. where sensual experiences replace normal functions. The Island of Capri is declared being a hotel – a secret hotel, perhaps only for its inhabitants….

Theme – dissolving

The theme of the project explores water as an agent that triggers an extreme relation between perception with the eyes, dissolving materiality and memory. This transitional process works in the extreme between oppositions. The energy of solid materiality is transformed into a liquid state or one mental condition changes to the opposite one. With this theme the project discovers a link between material and mental state where their interdependence becomes apparent. The appearance of a space triggers our emotions where those emotions change our perception of that space.

Spatiality / Narrative – redintegration

The Island of Capri is defined as a place of personal and collective memories. Here guests are either longing for a personal past long gone or antique past that never existed. Capri is defined having two rooms. The first room is where guests can suppress their past gazing at the collected antique remains and the second one is where they can reinhabit their personal memories staring into the dramatic scenery of the island. The narrative of the project proposes a place where guests can confront their past and decide which room they want to take on the island. The proposed spatial sequence unfolds the inner drama of the guests, which is further challenged on the way down. Redintegration is the process of reawakng distant memories detected by our senses. This passage is the passage of redintegration, a passage that restores a state of unity with the present. The spatiality of the LOBBY does not require a singular way of seeing it or experiencing it. Its creation is not an end product, which only will get worse but a beginning of a long life of transformations.

Materiality / Energy – embodied / released

The Lobby is located on a ridge some three hundred meters above the sea. An inaccessible cave situated fifty meters below is linked back to the ridge above making progressive passage from a very smooth and dry surface on the top to the very wet and prehistoric of the cave. Rain and limestone are the main building materials. Using the embodied energy in hydrology and acidity an existing limestone dissolution process on the island is transformed into sensational spatial experience. There, hydrological device triggers and releases the collected rainwater down the lobby eroding its surfaces and eventually forming a waterfall that would last up to eight hours.

The Architects for Health
First Student Health Design Award
was sponsored by


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