A Cafe in Mumbai Made Entirely Out of Recycled Cardboard by Nudes

Sited in Mumbai’s central business district, Bandra Kurla Complex, Cardboard Bombay is a cafetaria located on the ground floor designed by Nuru Karim, the founder of Nudes- an Indian Architecture Studio

Sited in Mumbai’s central business district, Bandra Kurla Complex, Cardboard Bombay is a cafeteria located on the ground floor designed by Nuru Karim, the founder of Nudes- an Indian Architecture Studio.

Interior Designer Projects Mumbai-Nuru Karim, Founder, Nudes

Nuru Karim, Founder, Nudes

Arguably, India’s first Cardboard Cafe ( excluding core, shell and services ) the design concept literally explores “out of the cardboard-box thinking”, unpackaged into a 100%  submersible cardboard experience that advocates usage of environment-friendly products and renewable energy to combat climate change, global warming.

Cardboard Cafe

The open bar area is accentuated with bespoke cardboard lights and indirect lighting.

Cardboard is 100% recyclable and biodegradable. It is an extremely versatile material which exhibits excellent sound absorption properties. It is also comprised of approximately 50% air which makes it lightweight and durable.


The cantilevered cardboard table exhibits structural properties for its intended purpose.

In addition, there exists a strong correlation between the geometry of the “micro” sinuous flutings of cardboard sheets and the “macro” sinuous free-flowing forms.

Free flowing Cardboard surfaces

"Free-flowing" Cardboard surfaces are wrapped along inherited site geometries to enable smooth transition vectors.

Intricate patterns and textures are created by slicing the cardboard flutings at different angles and curvatures governed by geometric discipline. The entire landscapes of Cardboard Bombay including the cavernous free flowing geometries, bespoke furniture & light fixtures etc have been sculpted from cardboard.

The furniture layout

(L) The furniture layout respects the existing site context and exterior vantage views |(R) Cardboard is composed of approx. 50% air, which makes it durable, lightweight and acoustically sound.

Building with cardboard meant constant exploration and inquiry into material performance. We approached the material as students, constantly diving into research which included prototyping and testing the material in real-world constraints including humidity, water resistance and temperature fluctuations. The Tabletops are impregnated with wax treatment to prevent water absorption and facilitate ease of maintenance.

glazing facade of the building

Free-flowing “Cardboard” injected into the unitised glazing facade of the building.

Cardboard” a material of humble origins has stood the test of time and has been deliberately injected into the “glass monolithic architecture” of Bandra Kurla Complex (BKC), Mumbai’s prime central business district to advocate the environmental imbalance of recent trends of urbanism.


Community table is fabricated entirely in cardboard.

We are hoping that this space evolves into a vibrant hub for dialogue and conversation on the role of design, material & technology in protecting the earth’s resources towards a sustainable future.

Project Info:

Project Title: CardboardBombay
Typology: Cafe, Hospitality
Location: Mumbai, India
Area: 152 Sqm
Architects: Nuru Karim, Founder & Principal Architect Nudes
Clients: Bad Management and Thyme & Reason Hospitality
Design Team: Nuru Karim, Yash Panchal, Zhea Kapadia, Uttara Rajawat, Aditya Jain
Graphic Design: Tanya Eden
Project Manager: Abdur Rehman
Fabrication: Haresh Mehta, Jayna Packaging
Kitchen Consultant: B.S. International
HVAC: Heeqay Airconditioning Company
Electrical Consultant: James Electricals Pvt Ltd.
Photo Credits: Mrigank Sharma
*Text description provided by the architects | Photo courtesy: Nudes

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