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K8 Telephone Kiosk

A Grade II Listed Building in Street, Somerset

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Coordinates

Latitude: 51.1283 / 51°7'41"N

Longitude: -2.7452 / 2°44'42"W

OS Eastings: 347946

OS Northings: 136825

OS Grid: ST479368

Mapcode National: GBR MJ.92BY

Mapcode Global: VH8B3.CWKW

Plus Code: 9C3V47H3+8W

Entry Name: K8 Telephone Kiosk

Listing Date: 2 November 2010

Grade: II

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1395584

English Heritage Legacy ID: 506827

Location: Street, Mendip, Somerset, BA16

County: Somerset

Civil Parish: Street

Built-Up Area: Street

Traditional County: Somerset

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Somerset

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Street

Description

STREET

1069/0/10010 SOUTHLEAZE ORCHARD
02-NOV-10 (North side)
K8 Telephone Kiosk

II
K8 Telephone Kiosk. Designed by Bruce Martin and introduced from 1968.

DESCRIPTION: A telephone kiosk built of six cast iron parts and an aluminium door. The door and two sides contain large rectangular sheets of toughened glass set in frames with rounded corners. The fourth side is a back panel of cast iron. The kiosk has a square plan with a flat roof dome that is glazed with toughened glass on four sides with round-cornered rectangular panes bearing the word 'TELEPHONE' on a white background. The kiosk is painted red.

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-) studied engineering at the University of Hong Kong before qualifying in architecture at the Architectural Association. He joined the Hertfordshire County Council architectural department and was jointly responsible for the 'Hertfordshire experiment': a progressive building scheme for primary schools.

In response to the GPO's brief for an easily re-assembled kiosk, the new design was given interchangeable components, unlike its predecessor, Giles Gilbert Scott's iconic K6. Another requirement, that it would be easy to maintain over a lifespan of at least 50 years, was met by the use of cast iron and toughened glass. Furthermore, the new kiosk was to represent the next generation of red telephone boxes. Bruce Martin's K8 offered an unfussy contemporary approach with clean lines and curves that eschewed the explicit neo-classical references of Scott's designs. While the K8 took a fresh approach, its dimensions and appearance were respectful of its lineage. The K8 was manufactured by the Lion Foundry and first installed in July 1968. 11,000 were introduced onto the United Kingdom's streets by 1984, after which the majority were replaced by the KX100.

SOURCES
Aslet, C. & Powers, A. The British Telephone Box... take it as red (for the Thirties Society, 1985); British Telecom, Britain's Public Payphones - A Social History (1984); British Telecom, Catalogue of Payphone Housings (1982), 1; Johansson, N. Telephone Boxes (1994); Post Office Magazine (August 1966); RIBA Journal (August 1969), 320-325; Stamp, G. Telephone Boxes: Curiosities of the British Street (1989);The Magazine of the Twentieth Century Society (Spring 2007) 4-7; www.bt.com/archives

REASONS FOR DESIGNATION: The K8 telephone kiosk at Southleaze Orchard, Street is designated at Grade II for the following principal reasons:
* Despite the loss of its glass panels and one of its telephone signs, it is a very rare survival of this once-common telephone kiosk, first introduced in 1968
* The Bruce Martin design for the General Post office displays innovative construction techniques, and is a landmark translation of Scott's iconic K2 and K6 designs
* It contributes to the understanding of the historic development of the telecommunications industry and the use of public telephone kiosks.


Reasons for Listing

The K8 telephone kiosk at Southleaze Orchard, Street is designated at Grade II for the following principal reasons:
* Despite the loss of its glass panels and one of its telephone signs, it is a very rare survival of this once-common telephone kiosk, first introduced in 1968
* The Bruce Martin design for the General Post office displays innovative construction techniques, and is a landmark translation of Scott's iconic K2 and K6 designs
* It contributes to the understanding of the historic development of the telecommunications industry and the use of public telephone kiosks

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