21-23 May 2024

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Steve Messam - Box K2 & Box K6

Box K2

The K2 was designed by Giles Gilbert Scott in 1924 as the first national telephone box. The shape of the arched roof and supporting pillars is based on John Soame’s Mausoleum in Old St Pancras churchyard and an homage to the great architect. Between 1926 and 1935 some 1,700 of these boxes were built, with many of the earliest ones installed in Clerkenwell. Few exist outside of London and of the remaining 200, all are grade II listed. The inflatable textile installation uses air pressure alone to secure it to the box, ensuring there is no damage to the historic structure inside.

Box K6

The K6 phonebox, designed by Giles Gilbert Scott for the coronation of George V in 1935 is the most common phonebox in the UK. Over 60,000 were built between 1936 and 1968 and are seen as an icon of British design. This installation on Cowcross street temporarily transforms one example, which like so many of its class are now seen as part of the UK streetscape vernacular.

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