Escale Numérique by
Mathieu Lehanneur

Mathieu Lehanneur Escale Numerique

French designer Mathieu Lehanneur has created a series of Wi-Fi stations in Paris where people can sit down to use their laptops or access local information via a large screen.

Mathieu Lehanneur Escale Numerique

Named Escale Numérique, which translates as Digital Break, the proposal won a competition to design street furniture that links with the underground fibre-optic network so residents and visitors without mobile internet access can connect on the move.

Mathieu Lehanneur Escale Numerique

Concrete swivel chairs with attached tables for laptops sit underneath a foliage-covered shelter and a large digital billboard provides city information and news for those who don't have a laptop or smartphone with them.

Mathieu Lehanneur Escale Numerique

A cluster of wooden legs like tree trunks support the green roof, which is designed to look like a garden when viewed from balconies above.

Mathieu Lehanneur Escale Numerique

The project was realised in collaboration with outdoor advertising company JCDecaux.

Mathieu Lehanneur Escale Numerique

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Mathieu Lehanneur Escale Numerique

Photography is by Felipe Ribon.

Mathieu Lehanneur Escale Numerique

Here's some more information from the designer:

JCDecaux and Mathieu Lehanneur won the call for projects by the Mairie de Paris devoted to intelligent furniture with Escale Numérique, a connected haven of peace available to everyone.

Mathieu Lehanneur Escale Numerique

Set up on the Rond Point des Champs-Elysées, Escale Numérique is a revival of the underground fibre optic network which is now supplying the capital, ‘Like the Wallace fountains, which since the end of the 19th century have offered Parisian the free drinking water which was circulating beneath their feet, Escale Numérique allows everyone to benefit, like a real public service, from a high-speed WIFI connection by raising it from beneath the ground.’

Mathieu Lehanneur Escale Numerique

For his first urban development project, Mathieu Lehanneur devised a protective shelter with a plant covered roof, like ‘A garden placed on a few tree trunks’ and designed to be as attractive when viewed from the ground as from a balcony.

Mathieu Lehanneur Escale Numerique

The hard-wearing concrete swivel seats are equipped with plugs and have mini tables attached to rest an elbow, a book or a computer.

Mathieu Lehanneur Escale Numerique

A large touch screen provides updated information about services in the city: guides, news and augmented reality for tourists and visitors who are not online.

Mathieu Lehanneur Escale Numerique

Escale Numérique is a forerunner for a new range of urban architecture where virtual reality dictates the shape of what is real in order to live with even greater fluidity.

Mathieu Lehanneur Escale Numerique

  • Frankenstine

    Lovely stuff – bus shelter too?

  • itch

    Concrete bucket seats and they swivel – superb! The canopy with a circular light, a nod to the face of a well-designed gadget; and topped with shrubbery – nice touch!

    Excellent use of materials and detailing – rare for public shelter. Perhaps less columns would make this ideal? More of it in public spaces please! Great design and faithfully executed. Top marks. Congratulations to designer and commissioner.

  • Philippe

    Really nice idea. I'd like to have this escale numérique in my own city. Beautiful design with the cantilever.

  • Mieke

    Supercool!!! Wish we had that in my hometown!

  • Mieke

    Supercool! Beautiful and effective design.

  • Red Pill Junkie

    The reason it won the competition is self-evident :)

  • Lisko

    So, you put six columns when only two, three, or four were needed. And concrete chairs might sound like a cool idea, but what about winter time?

  • Anatoly

    Да,Mathieu Lehanneur сделал прекрасный чувственный дизайн . Это очень уместно для теплой Франции. У нас в Сибири, дизайнер себе такой роскоши позволить не может. Натяжной потолок сигаретами прожгут , цветы с крыши сбросят, бетонные кресла сломают.
    Какие мы все-таки разные….!

  • James

    Nice organic design. We need this in Boston!

  • stoett22

    It's a great idea to have a station in the middle of the park that offers free Wifi, but I wonder if that would only lead to people staying there just for the free internet access.