Two K6 telephone kiosks, designed 1935 by Sir Giles Gilbert Scott.
Reason for Listing
REASONS FOR DESIGNATION
The two K6 telephone kiosks in front of the Victoria and Albert Museum are recommended for designation at Grade II for the following principal reasons:
* Setting: these kiosks have a strong relationship with the Victoria and Albert Museum, and also relate visually to the houses of Thurloe Square and the other listed buildings of Thurloe Place and Cromwell Road.
The K6 telephone kiosk is a milestone of C20 industrial design. First commissioned in 1935 to mark the occasion of King George V’s silver jubilee, it was an adaptation by Sir Giles Gilbert Scott of his highly successful K2 kiosk of 1924, a neoclassical design inspired in turn by the work of Sir John Soane in the early 1800s. The K6 was visually more streamlined, more compact and more cost-effective to mass produce. Sir Giles Gilbert Scott (1880-1960) was one of the most important British architects of the first half of the C20; his many celebrated commissions include the Anglican cathedral of Liverpool and Battersea power station. The K2 and K6 telephone kiosks represent a very thoughtful adaptation of architectural tradition to contemporary technological requirements. The K6 remained in production until the 1960s, by which time well over 70,000 had been produced. From 1968 many were replaced with a new kiosk type, the K8, but large numbers still survive as iconic features of Britain's streetscapes.
The K6 is a standardised design, a rectangular cast-iron box, eight feet in height and three feet square on plan, with a shallow domed roof. The glazed door and side panels are divided by glazing bars into eight narrow horizontal strips with narrow side lights, surrounded by a thin moulding. The back panel also has this moulding but is unglazed. The upper section has white illuminated signage panels on all four sides, inscribed ‘TELEPHONE’. Above each of these is a crown emblem, embossed and not perforated as in the earlier K2 kiosk. The telephone equipment inside is modern.
These two kiosks stand on either side of the main entrance to the Victoria and Albert Museum (Grade I), with the houses of Thurloe Square (Grade II) across the street to the south.
Listed building text is © Crown Copyright. Reproduced under licence.