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K6 telephone kiosk by the south-west entrance to Kensington Gardens

A Grade II Listed Building in Queen's Gate, London

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Coordinates

Latitude: 51.5024 / 51°30'8"N

Longitude: -0.1874 / 0°11'14"W

OS Eastings: 525909

OS Northings: 179721

OS Grid: TQ259797

Mapcode National: GBR 2H.4L

Mapcode Global: VHGQY.PHTM

Entry Name: K6 telephone kiosk by the south-west entrance to Kensington Gardens

Listing Date: 15 August 2013

Grade: II

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1415684

Location: Kensington and Chelsea, London, W8

County: London

District: Kensington and Chelsea

Electoral Ward/Division: Queen's Gate

Parish: Non Civil Parish

Built-Up Area: Kensington and Chelsea

Traditional County: Middlesex

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Greater London

Church of England Parish: St Mary Abbots with Christ Church and St Philip Kensington

Church of England Diocese: London

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Summary

K6 telephone kiosk, 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.

The present kiosk stands outside the south-westernmost gate to Kensington Gardens (a Grade I-registered landscape), semi-adjacent to the (Grade II-listed) entrance gates and piers to Kensington Palace, and across the road from No. 1 Kensington High Street and the Milestone Hotel (both Grade II).

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.

The present kiosk was once one of a pair; the other was removed in April 2013.

Reasons for Listing

The K6 telephone kiosk by the south-west entrance to Kensington Gardens is listed at Grade II for the following principal reasons:
* Context: it has a strong visual relationship with Kensington Gardens (a Grade I registered landscape) and with the nearby entrance gates and piers to Kensington Palace; it also stands opposite two further listed buildings, No. 1 Kensington High Street and the Milestone Hotel.

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