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Two K6 telephone boxes in front of the Victoria and Albert Museum

A Grade II Listed Building in Brompton & Hans Town, London

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Coordinates

Latitude: 51.496 / 51°29'45"N

Longitude: -0.1722 / 0°10'20"W

OS Eastings: 526975

OS Northings: 179034

OS Grid: TQ269790

Mapcode National: GBR 5K.HW

Mapcode Global: VHGQY.YNTJ

Entry Name: Two K6 telephone boxes in front of the Victoria and Albert Museum

Listing Date: 15 August 2013

Grade: II

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1415677

Location: Kensington and Chelsea, London, SW7

County: London

District: Kensington and Chelsea

Electoral Ward/Division: Brompton & Hans Town

Parish: Non Civil Parish

Built-Up Area: Kensington and Chelsea

Traditional County: Middlesex

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Greater London

Church of England Parish: Holy Trinity with St Paul, Onslow Sq and St Augustine, Sth Kensington

Church of England Diocese: London

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Summary

Two K6 telephone kiosks, designed 1935 by Sir Giles Gilbert Scott.

Description

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.

History

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.

Reasons 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.

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