Maihaugen / The open-air museum / The Residential Area / 1932 - Telephone Booth

1932 - Telephone Booth

Telefonautomaten Foto_Camilla_Damgaard_

Telephone booth usage declined strongly when the mobile telephone became common during the 1990s. Photo: Camilla Damgård/Maihaugen.

The well known red telephone booth is one of the best examples of functionalist design. It is the result of an architectural competition arranged by Oslo Telefonanlegg in 1932. The winner was Riks, designed by the architect Georg Fredrik Fasting from Bergen.

The jury wrote the following about the winner: “No. 80 “Riks.” The draft shows a completely striking, simple solution to the task, which in both a technical and aesthetic way is well worked out. It solves all the problems of the programme in a satisfactory manner. The author has hit the mark both in the layout and the build. The draft has such a shape that the booth can be placed almost anywhere. The user guide can be put over the telephone and the suggested method of hanging can also be approved. The door must open outwards.”

  • The telephone booth is one of the foremost examples of functionalist design.
  • At the top of its era there were almost 6,000 placed around the country. 
  • Production was discontinued in 1995 and in 1977 the Directorate for Cultural Heritage declared the Tele-museum and the Telenor telephone booth as worthy of conservation.
  • It was decided to preserve 100 booths.