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K6 Telephone Kiosk on the Quayside Pedestrian Area, Cambridge, Cambridge

Description: K6 Telephone Kiosk on the Quayside Pedestrian Area, Cambridge

Grade: II
Date Listed: 28 February 2014
Building ID: 1416702

OS Grid Reference: TL4473858943
OS Grid Coordinates: 544738, 258943
Latitude/Longitude: 52.2097, 0.1169

Locality: Cambridge
Local Authority: Cambridge City Council
County: Cambridgeshire
Postcode: CB2 1UJ

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Listing Text


K6 telephone kiosk

Reason for Listing

The K6 telephone kiosk at the Quayside, Cambridge is designated at Grade II for the following principal reasons:

* Architectural interest: an iconic example of industrial design, showing Giles Gilbert Scott's adaptation of Neoclassical forms for a modern technological function;
* Group value: it has a strong visual relationship with a number of nearby listed buildings, including Magdalene Bridge and Magdalene College Bright's Building.


The K6 telephone kiosk is a milestone of C20 industrial design. The K6 was designed by Sir Giles Gilbert Scott in 1935 for the General Post Office, on the occasion of King George V's Silver Jubilee. The K6 was a development from his earlier highly successful K2 telephone kiosk design of 1924, of Neo-classical inspiration. The K6 was more streamlined aesthetically, more compact and more cost-effective to mass produce. Sir Giles Gilbert Scott (1880-1960) was one of the most important of modern British architects; his many celebrated commissions include the Anglican cathedral of Liverpool and Battersea power station. The K2 and K6 telephone kiosks can be said to represent a very thoughtful adaptation of architectural tradition to contemporary technological requirements. Well over 70,000 K6s were eventually produced. In the 1960s many were replaced with far plainer kiosk types. But many still remain, and continue to be an iconic feature on Britain's streetscapes.

The K6 telephone kiosk at Cambridge has a strong visual link with a number of Grade II listed buildings, including Magdalene Bridge, no. 31 Magdalene Street and the Pickerel Inn.


The K6 is a standardised design by Sir Giles Gilbert Scott made of cast iron, painted red overall with long horizontal glazing in sides.

EXTERIOR: Horizontal and vertical glazing bars divide each glazed side into eight panes with flanking narrow margin lights. The Soane-inspired domed roof adorns the arched heads of each side, with a crown in relief above glazed panels inscribed with the word 'TELEPHONE'.

INTERIOR: Pursuant to s.1 (5A) of the Planning (Listed Buildings and Conservation Areas) Act 1990 it is declared that the modern telecommunications equipment within the K6 is not of special architectural or historic interest.

Listed building text is © Crown Copyright. Reproduced under licence.