Gandhi Ashram Store Redesign

Rhizome remodelled the Kamala foundation’s Ahmedabad-based store in collaboration with ERA. The foundation which is dedicated to the upliftment of the underprivileged through love, has it’s outlet is based in the Sabarmati Gandhi Ashram.

Initial store design

The original interiors of the foundation’s Gandhi Ashram store consisted of laminated plywood fixed furniture. The dated original aesthetic did not showcase the beautiful handmade products the store offered, nor the ideology of the foundation. The brief given by Kamala foundation was to reflect it’s ethos while keeping the budget as low-cost as possible.

Rhizome's vibrant touch

We took up this challenge and decided to reuse and upcycle every element of the existing store as far as possible while highlighting the products. The walls were painted a vibrant yellow, and we added a few pops of blue around the store that transformed the space, suitably highlighting the products. The monotone of natural materials like bamboo and handmade paper balance out the vibrancy of the store. The only additions to this space were a bamboo chair, a bamboo mirror and a large bamboo lighting installation.

Sustainable lighting solutions

Rhizome’s iconic lighting installation made with bamboo pipes provided a perfect lighting solution for this retail space. We custom-made a sustainable lighting installation with hollow bamboo poles that provided the perfect ambiance for retail space. This network of illuminated bamboo pipes created a warm ambience, and a point of interest in the space.

Bamboo, an honest material

The addition of sleek bamboo handles with sliced edge detail gave a modern twist to all the cabinets. The honest and simple characteristics of this material added a natural charm to the store. From the details of cabinet handles to lighting solutions, and mirrors to cabinets, our material of choice for this store's revamp was bamboo. We also custom-developed bamboo frames to showcase handmade paper cards.

Renovation with soul: Repurposed and Reimagined

The plywood reception table and old chest of drawers were laminated with handmade paper. The hand-made paper was sourced from Gandhi Ashram’s Kalamkush paper enterprise. The factory, one of Gandhi's cottage industries, converts waste cotton scraps into paper without any chemical usage. Most of the materials used for the renovation have been re-purposed. We love upcycling materials because it is as challenging as rewarding. It not only adds quality but also reduces costs while maintaining the true character of the space while minimising waste.

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