The classic red phonebooth, named “Riks” (meaning long-distance), was declared the winning proposal of Telegrafverkets (today named Telenor) architectural competition for a public, outdoors phonebooth in Norway on December 11th, 1932. 93 individual proposals were submitted into the competition.
The following year, the first of these booths was installed at Akershuskaia in Oslo. The phonebooths were produced at Telegrafverkets main workshop in Lørenvangen, Oslo.
“Riks” was designed by the architect Georg F. Fasting (1903-1987) from Bergen, Norway. Fasting was influenced by the stylistic period of architectural functionalism throughout the course of his career, a style strongly emphasizing function; the practical use of the designed place or object. This stylistic approach to architecture was dominating in Norway during the interwar period between WW1 and WW2. (Source: Norwegian Museum of Science and Technology).
The student task
In connection with the 85-year anniversary of the booth, an exhibition was realized at The Norwegian Museum of Science and Technology. The exhibition showed proposals for bringing new life and functions to – and around – the phonebooths, created by students from Edvard Munch High School.
– Use is important for preservation. That is why it is so exciting that Edvard Munch High School jumped at the chance to come up with new ideas for how they can be used. This way, the phone booths can play an important part in the future as well, says Line Tveiten, Project Manager, ByKuben
The project is a collaboration between The City of Oslo, ByKuben, Telenor, The Norwegian Museum of Science and Technology and DOGA, and is part of the project Reprogramming the City. The founder of Reprogramming the City, American urbanist Scott Burnham, was personally in Oslo to inspire the students in their work.
The student proposals for new uses of the phonebooths were also displayed in the exhibition Reprogramming the City at DOGA, from May to September of 2018. Read more about Reprogramming the City and the exhibition here.