Although phone booths are slowly disappearing from our streetscape, they are making a resurgence in today’s offices and public buildings. The reason for this is the renaissance of open-plan offices, as well as greater architectural transparency and permeability, combined with the ubiquity of the mobile telephone.
Thus, when a telephone call needs to be made or taken, it is preferable to do this in a designated phone booth, in order to keep the conversation more private, and also to avoid disturbance from the caller to his surroundings, or vice versa.
Alain Gilles designed a comprehensive collection of felt-covered phone booths for BuzziSpace: ‘BuzziCockpit’ stands on a desks and forms a cocoon around the caller; ‘BuzziHood’ is a wall-mounted cover with a small, tall desktop that allows the user to take notes; and ‘BuzziBooth’ is a fully fledged, freestanding phone booth.
Pekka Toivola’s ‘Hush’ phone booth for Martela Oyj is possibly even more autonomous, since it features a door, lighting and ventilation systems, and, of course, a little desk so that its occupant can jot down important information. On the other hand, PearsonLloyd’s ‘DOCKLANDS | Phone Booth’ is more sculptural, composed of three wide ribbons that curve around a standing caller.
Frans van der Wielen’s ‘Ahrend living wall’ by Ahrend once again proposes different wall-mounted, upholstered, colourful solutions as an alternative to freestanding phone booths. And lastly, Stefan Sjölander and Pierre Sindre design the whimsical ‘Smalltalk’ phone booth for OFFECCT, a larger-than-life sculpture of a desk lamp, where the user stands in the middle, acoustically protected by the oversized lampshade.