Made Entirely of Cardboard, This Mumbai Cafe Is Perfect for All Your out of the Box Ideas


(C) Sheena Dabholkar

Photo of Made Entirely of Cardboard, This Mumbai Cafe Is Perfect for All Your out of the Box Ideas by Neha Bhise Sadalge

Remember all the times in your childhood when you saved up those boxes to recreate your imaginary world? Well, you can now make this fantasy come true by visiting this newly constructed café made entirely of cardboard!

Located in the middle of a concrete jungle at Bandra Kurla Complex of Mumbai, Cardboard Café redefines eco-friendly architecture. In a world where everyone is becoming more aware of the environmental hazards and trying to make a shift to sustainable living, they have designed it completely using biodegradable materials.

As the name suggests, its interior landscape including the menu card, bill, cutlery boxes, furniture and light boxes are all entirely made of cardboard. Using the recyclable properties of this common material along with its sound-absorbing quality, this café is designed aesthetically with a contemporary design setting. With corrugated fiber-boards, it advocates the usage of environment-friendly products to combat global warming and climate change.

Conceptualised by architect, Nuru Karim, the mastermind behind the well-known architecture studio, NUDES, this was turned into reality by a team of experts passionate about using alternative methods of construction. Known to have a very explorative style, Nuru suggested the idea to the café owners who instantly loved it. With a huge team working on various elements of the café, it took four months of prototyping and another three and a half months to create it under their guidance. Going a step further, the owners also designed a whimsical logo and innovative packaging instead of plastic to give the customers a sense of recall.

The material used in the café has been tested for prototyping to test functionality and durability to ensure the changing Mumbai weather doesn’t affect its structure. The tabletops are further wax laminated to prevent food or water from affecting the material. With the versatility that cardboard brings, the owners plan to showcase this café as a vibrant hub for dialogue and conversation on the role of design, material and technology for working towards a sustainable future.

Although its design is the highlight here, the food offered has been getting good reviews as well giving customers a reason to keep coming back.

Though this is the first time the concept of designing with cardboard has been initiated in India, architects around the world have been experimenting with it over the past few years. Some of the most popular designs known include skincare brand Aesop’s store in Los Angeles and a cathedral in Christchurch, New Zealand designed by the famous Japanese architect, Shigeru Ban.

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