London's 1924 Prototype K2 Phone Box Upgraded to Grade II*

By Gary Cutlack on at

One of the red phone boxes that started the whole red phone box thing we have has joined the lists of our most protected national monuments, as the box has been handed Grade II* listed status so will most definitely not be skipped and transformed into an InLink monolith by engineers overnight.

This particular box sits in a sheltered and partially hidden nook outside the Royal Academy, where it's been since 1924. It's a wooden prototype of the K2 design that would dominate London and the UK for the coming decades, becoming as iconic a piece as the Routemaster or the black taxi cab.

It was built by by Sir Giles Gilbert Scott in 1924 as a result of a call to design a nicer phone box. This design won, and seeing as the competition was organised by the Postmaster General, post box red was chosen as the colour, despite the design specifying silver-painted steel for the mass production variant.

Duncan Wilson of Historic England dug out some additional facts for us all to pass on as our own today, and said: "This unique timber structure by the celebrated British architect Sir Giles Gilbert Scott represents a milestone in industrial design. Inspired by Sir John Soane's distinctive 1816 tomb to his wife and son in St Pancras Gardens, it was the winning entry for a major design competition in 1924 and formed the basis of the famous red phone boxes which are found across the country and known throughout the world." [GOV]