abin design studio sculpts its art rickshaw gallery with "islands" of undulating blue tilework

Designboom_ Kolkata-based architecture practice Abin Design Studio crafts a new gallery and exhibition space dubbed Art Rickshaw. The place is created not just for the display of art, but as an interactive community workshop for learning, discovering, and provoking. Artists of all media together with enthusiasts are welcomed to explore the space and ‘come together to set out on journeys of creative rediscovery.’ Described by the design team as an ‘imaginatively magical Promethean Island,’ the architecture of the art gallery takes shape as a surreal environment. Upon entering, visitors are invited to ‘detach from their painfully monotonous and rational daily routines.’

Abin Design Studio sculpts the interiors of its Art Rickshaw gallery with a range of undulating ‘islands.’ These fluid surfaces are built of intricate tile-work in a vibrant blue, hoping to inspire artists and children alike. The architects note that the space is designed with the aim of ’embodying the immense potential of the enjoyment of imagination.’ The project stands as an interior intervention, housed within an older building within an historic neighborhood of West Bengal’s capital of Kolkata.

Inside, the original structure has been transformed with archways, ‘breaking the pattern of colonial reminiscence.’ While the use of arches is certainly not new, it reads as a contemporary element within the historic structure. This contrast between new and traditional design styles harmonizes with the fluid and sculptural intervention to create a dynamic space.

Abin Design Studio’s Art Rickshaw Gallery comprises areas in which the walls ‘flow down’ to become the floor or integrated display shelves or niches in the wall — animating an otherwise still space and harmonizing function and form with vibrant colors and bold volumes. Abin Chaudhuri comments: ‘The result is a space that invokes ‘food’ for thought, mental exploration and a physical resting ground while soaking in the surrounding artistic resources. The conventionally unassuming façade is made visible by a canvas of ornate intricacies achieved by employing daily household objects.

‘The entrance is flanked by a minimal white washed wall, while the visually superfluous flooring makes the space dramatic, with whimsical patterns in ceramic tile. The variation of fluidic floors and billowing island-like structures elevates the interplay between user and space, not only enhancing the functionality of the design but launching a typology of a ‘utilitarian playground.’