Hundreds of thousands of phone booths still stand like relics of a past century on street corners and in subway stations, many of them not even operational anymore. So what can we do with these obsolete hunks of glass and metal? Here are 14 ideas ranging from the artistic to the super-practical including galleries, couches, showers, outhouses and electric vehicle charging stations.
Bright Red Couch in London
(images via: dave catchpole)
Part of a series of iconic British red phone booths revamped into an incredible array of sculptures, this particular project finds that a phone booth turned on its side makes a comfy and surprisingly attractive couch. The ‘ArtBox’ project is a public art installation in London; the sculptures were displayed in June and July 2012 and then auctioned off to benefit the ChildLine charity.
Charging Station for Electric Vehicles, Austria
(images via: telekom austria)
Telekom Austria didn’t want its 13,500 sleek glass phone booths to go to waste as public telephones are phased out – so it turned them into electric vehicle charging stations! Talk about bringing them into the 21st century.
Shower in the Virgin Islands
(image via: andolent)
It’s an eerie sight, standing at the end of the pier with the ocean in the background, separated from all other man-made structures. But this phone booth in the Virgin Islands isn’t for sailors who need to make a quick call – it’s been turned into a shower.
Banksy Phone Booth Sculpture
(image via: artlet-blog)
Mysterious British street artist Banksy created this sculpture, ‘Murdered Phone Booth’, as “a stunning visual comment on BT’s transformation from an old-fashioned telecommunications company into a modern communications provider.” At least, that’s according to BT (British Telecom). The artist’s actual motivations may be slightly different.
Aquarium in Lyon, France
(image via: nicolas nova)
This phone booth transformation may have the biggest visual impact of all. French lighting designer Benoit Deseille created this highly unusual aquarium as part of the annual Festival of Lights in Lyon, France. The booth was sealed so that water can’t escape and people can’t open the door from the outside, and tropical fish swim around the intact telephone.