Old phone booths might be charming, but they’re not exactly useful in today’s world of cellphones and FaceTime. So what to do with the relics of public utility? Some cities have transformed old phone booth into pop-up phone repair shops. Others have made them into tiny public libraries.
Now, architects in Shanghai have turned old phone booths into public furniture, complete with modern amenities. Along Shangai’s historic Yuyuan road, the design studio 100architects renovated phone booths into bright orange pieces of public furniture.
The plastic booths are open to the street and sidewalk and have seats, tables, and ergonomic curves, all designed to make it comfortable for pedestrians to lounge. The phone booths come loaded with wifi, USB charging, reading lights, a newspaper rack, and a coffee table—making the compacts booths useful public spaces that are a great example of how to repurpose obsolete infrastructure.