K8 telephone kiosk

Overview

Heritage Category:
Listed Building
Grade:
II
List Entry Number:
1462927
Date first listed:
05-Mar-2019
Location Description:
Statutory Address:
High Street, Wickwar, South Gloucestershire

Map

Ordnance survey map of K8 telephone kiosk
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Location

Statutory Address:
High Street, Wickwar, South Gloucestershire

The building or site itself may lie within the boundary of more than one authority.

Location Description:
District:
South Gloucestershire (Unitary Authority)
Parish:
Wickwar
National Grid Reference:
ST7239688504

Summary

A K8 design telephone kiosk.

Reasons for Designation

The K8 telephone kiosk in the High Street, Wickwar, is listed at Grade II, for the following principal reasons:

Architectural interest:

* It is a very rare survival of this type of once common telephone kiosk, first introduced in 1968; * Its design by Bruce Martin for the General Post Office displayed innovative construction techniques resulting in an interesting development from Scott's iconic design for the K2 and K6, and is the last in the series of red telephone kiosks.

Historic interest:

* It contributes to the understanding of the historic development of the telecommunications industry and the use of public telephone kiosks before the introduction and widespread use of mobile phones.

Group value:

* The kiosk has strong group value with the row of listed shops and houses lining the High Street, in front of which it stands, forming an essential component of the street scene.

History

The K8 was built to a design by Bruce Martin following a competition held by the General Post Office (GPO) in 1965. Bruce Martin (1917-2015) studied engineering at the University of Hong Kong before qualifying in architecture at the Architectural Association. He worked for the architectural department at Hertfordshire County Council and became part of the group that was responsible for the so-called 'Hertfordshire Experiment': a progressive primary school building plan using pioneering construction techniques, pre-fabricated buildings and a child-centred design focus.

In relation to the K8, the main requirement within the GPO's design brief was that it should be easy to re-assemble on site and easy to maintain and/or repair in the future. This condition was met, and unlike the K6, the K8 was given interchangeable components. The design brief also stated that the kiosk had to last for at least 50 years and that its design had to be recognised as the United Kingdom’s next generation of red telephone boxes. As a result, Bruce Martin analysed Scott's K6 meticulously and simplified and reduced its high number of components. Eventually, the K8 was given only seven principal components with a choice of two types of roofs: a lozenge shape and a cast-line, of which this is the latter. The reasons for this are unknown, but both varieties were used. The K8 first appeared on the streets in 1968 and by 1983, 11,000 had been manufactured for the UK by the Lion Foundry, of which fewer than 20 have survived.

Details

A K8 design telephone kiosk.

MATERIALS Cast iron and aluminium.

DESCRIPTION All sides of the kiosk, including the door, contain large sheets of toughened glass set in rectangular frames with rounded corners. The kiosk has a square plan with a flat roof dome that is glazed with toughened glass on four sides with openings housing rectangular panes (two missing), again with rounded corners, each bearing the word 'TELEPHONE' on a white background. The kiosk is painted red.

Sources

Other
C Aslet and A Powers, The British Telephone Box... take it as red (for the Thirties Society, 1985)
The Magazine of the Twentieth Century Society (Spring 2007) 4-7

Legal

This building is listed under the Planning (Listed Buildings and Conservation Areas) Act 1990 as amended for its special architectural or historic interest.

End of official listing

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