Estimated reading time: 2 minutes

The red telephone boxes or kiosks, as they call them, is one of the most prominent cultural icons of the city of London, next to the red double-decker buses, the Big Ben, or the London Bridge. One cannot leave London without getting the typical photo, but be careful if you are going to take a picture inside because many of them have a very unpleasant odor.

Well, let us tell a little about the history of these boxes. In 1924 the London Metropolitan Boroughs decided to call a contest to design a new telephone kiosk in which several architects participated. The winning model was designed by Sir Giles Gilbert Scott (1880-1960) who was based on the tomb of the neoclassical architect Sir John Soane that himself had designed. The neoclassical and simple style with a rectangular volume finished in a recessed vault was the one that really triumphed.

From here on, various designs have been going on since 1923 until the last one made in 1980. Successively they have been called K1, K2, K3 … and up to 10 models (K is the abbreviation of kiosk). The first of them, the K1, created in 1920 was distinguished by having the colors white and red (corporate colors of the General Post Office on which it depended) and the roof was finished off as a roof on 4 waters.

The most striking and most popular model was the K6, which was also designed by Scott. He did it to mark the 25th anniversary of the reign of George V, and although it was accepted, the king never saw him since he died before concluding his design.

And why are they red? The decision of the corporate color came from the General Post Office to mark an attractive color that was identifiable wherever they were placed. Gilbert Scott designed them to be silver outside and in a bluish tone inside.

Where can you get some good pictures?

The red boxes, logically, are everywhere in London but here we leave some points where you can get some very original photos:
• Great George Street: In this street you can make a very good photo with the red box and Big Ben in the background.
• Parliament Street– Whitehall: Along this street there are numerous red boxes.
• Strand and Duncannot Street: In this corner near Picadilly there is a grouping of boxes with the Eleanor crosses in the background.

If you want to find out the different types of schools, check out our article on this topic: What are the different types of schools in London?

[Photo from Pixabay]