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Kapka designed by Dessislava Dimitrova

The Sofia-based architectural firm Delinear Ltd has designed "Kapka" an award-winning concept design for a restaurant lift line in the city of Sofia, going up to the TV tower on Vitosha mountain.

Project description by the architects:

The project was conceived a few years ago while rethinking the abandoned cabin lift connecting the “Kniajevo" neighborhood with the mountain top “Kopitoto”. This lift line was originally the first cabin lift that opened in Bulgaria in the year 1962. Unfortunately, shortly after the democratic changes in the early 1990’s funding for the line was cut and it seised to operate from 1991 onwards. Today only the pylons and the concrete buildings of the main stations remain to remind us of this once popular tourist route that I used to ride on with my parents and grand-parents. However, this lift line, and especially its upper most station, still has one of the best panoramic views of Sofia.

Kapka a restaurant lift line designed by Dessislava Dimitrovaimage © K.Krumov 

For this project I did not have a client other than myself. I was motivated to preserve and restore one of the most valuable aspects in our city - the closely knit connection between the people, the mountain and the life-giving water that originates from it. Sofia is an ancient dwelling that was established around the numerous warm mineral springs at the base of the mountain, which are still in use today. 

Kapka designed by Dessislava Dimitrovaimage © K.Krumov 

In many cases an architect designs in order to serve the needs and wishes of an individual or a small group of individuals. In this case I designed in order to create an easily recognizable and unique symbol for the city with the goal of allowing the public to enjoy a thoughtful and deeply personal experience while riding on this new line. 

Kapka designed by Dessislava Dimitrovaimage © K.Krumov 

Idea: The core of my idea is to transform the main function of the lift line from a means of mass physical transport from point A to point B to a metaphorical means of “spiritual” or “emotional” elevation. I would like to offer the citizens and visitors of the city a transformative or at the very least emotionally impactful experience. For the duration of the trip, each passenger can rediscover themselves through love, reflection, contemplation, communication, inspiration or surprise.

the concept of the projectimage © K.Krumov 

To this end I propose that the standard lift cabins are redesigned and furnished more like a luxurious restaurant than a ski lift. Meals can be ordered before booking a cabin and the guests would be left alone with their freshly prepared food and drinks for the duration of the trip.

man and woman kissing inside lift image © K.Krumov 

girls and a boy inside the restaurant lift image © K.Krumov travel time inside the restaurant lift image © K.Krumov 

The lift itself should also slow down considerably. The travel time should be extended three-fold, such that a one-way trip should last up to 1 hour up from the current 20 minutes. The breath-taking view, combined with the peace and quiet of the ride would allow the passengers (in company or alone by themselves) to experience time differently and change its meaning.

Kapka designed by Dessislava Dimitrovaimage © K.Krumov 

The cabins will be shaped like water droplets with entirely reflective outer surfaces giving privacy to the occupants while tying-in with the concept of water, purity and clarity. The main construction is metallic with glass outer surface covering the inner structure. Inside the cabin the space is spherical with hung ceiling covering the AC and lightning elements and level floor underneath.

the concept is dropletimage © K.Krumov 

Symbolism: The name of the project “Kapka” means droplet in Bulgarian because of the shape of the lift cabins. While the direct reference to the water component is obvious it also has a more subtle meaning relating to serenity and purity. Discovering the honesty and love in one self, everyone can bring about and contribute towards a brighter future.

a drop of water image © K.Krumov 

The center table and the light-fixture in it resemble a droplet bouncing off of a water surface before being absorbed by it.

Kapka designed by Dessislava Dimitrovaimage © K.Krumov 

Kapka designed by Dessislava Dimitrovaimage © K.Krumov 

Kapka designed by Dessislava Dimitrova

image © K.Krumov 


Architect: Dessislava Dimitrova

Location: Sofia, Bulgaria

Visualization: K.Krumov

By Naser Nader Ibrahim

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