Phone Box, Tube Train, get new life

Two traditionally British staples— the red phone box and London Underground tube trains— get a makeover when they’re no longer in use.

The people of Westbury-sub-Mendip, a village in Somerset, England, salvaged their beloved red phone box by transforming it into a mini-library. People bring in the books they’re done with in exchange for new ones. There are all sorts of different genres available, from manuals to romance novels. The turnover is rapid, ensuring that there’s always something new for the avid reader.

Photo: from

For just £30 the village bought the phone box, installed four shelves and a light, making it accessible all-night long, all-year round.

The unconventional phone-box-bookshop saves villagers the four-mile trip to the library and, unlike the library, has no fees!


When four London Underground tube trains retired, they took on a second-life as part of the Village Underground project in Shoreditch, London. The mastermind behind the project is Auro Foxcroft. As a furniture designer he was constantly on the hunt for affordable studio space in London. So what he did was take the ex-trains and turn them into affordable and sustainable studio spaces for fellow creative minds.


Each studio space is a little bit different. One has a children’s play area in the back, another has kept all of the existing seating but has re-upholstered them in black and white floral prints and has painted the floor red. The trains use carbon-neutral heat and power and include a rooftop garden and deck. Here’s a workplace you’ll actually want to go to in the morning!

-Otiena Ellwand

A train interior. Photo:



Filed under Architecture, Art/Design, Campaigns, Economics, Green Living, Interior Design, Technology, Transportation

2 responses to “Phone Box, Tube Train, get new life

  1. Amazing, I found this site on Google searching for something completely unrelated, now I’m gonna have to go back and go the old posts! Good bye free time today, but this was a truly spectacular find

  2. Kudos for hosting such a creative website. Your blog was not just knowledgeable but also very creative too. We come across very few bloggers who are capable of write technical content that creatively. I keep searching for articles with regard to a subject like this. I searched through dozens of blogs to build up on knowledge regarding this.Keep posting !!

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