Random Saturday

This may look like a phone box, set in a quiet seaside village.

But it’s actually the beautiful Gilbert Scott Library.

Sir (Giles) Gilbert Scott (1880-1960) came from an illustrious family of architects. His father and grandfather were exponents of a high Victorian Gothic style but Gilbert blended the gothic tradition with modernism, and in 1933 designed Battersea Power Station in London, a building that still divides opinion.

500px-Battersea_Powerstation_-_Across_Thames_-_London_-_020504

 In 1924 he entered and won a competition to redesign the telephone box and the K2 (kiosk 2) became a feature of London. He revised his design in 1935 for the Silver Jubilee of King George V.

340px-Big_and_small_red_phonebox

The new K6 design was smaller and more streamlined, the 6 rows of 3 small panes of glass were replaced by 8 longer rows letting in more light in keeping with the moderne aesthetic of the 1930’s. The emblem of the Tudor Crown was replaced in 1953 by the St Edwards crown and in 1955 a Scottish version was introduced bearing the Scottish crown. The K6 was the first nationwide telephone box and Gilbert Scott had designed an icon.

Gilbert Scott

Quiz question : Is the Gilbert Scott Library a K2 or a K6 telephone kiosk?

23 thoughts on “Random Saturday

  1. Fascinating post, thank you. I shall scrutinise the crown on the side of each telephone box I see now. I wonder how the books in that Gilbert Scott Library are organised – Dewey Decimal, in order of accession or by subject … ponder, ponder. And what an amazing library Battersea Power Station would have made!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. You’re right, they should make it a library – he designed the New Bodlein Library in Oxford so it would be in keeping! I haven’t looked at the organisation, I’m too amazed by the chair and that they’ve given it a name, next time I’ll have a look! Maybe it could get its own stamp as well!!

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Wow! What a terrific way to use an old phone box!
    I like the photo of the Battersea Power Station, but it looks a little frightening, too. I can imagine it being used in a comic where the machines come alive and take over the world. Very 1930s.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I love Battersea Power Station, but I’m not sure I’d be so keen if it was part of my view. I think I like knowing it exists. I’m pretty sure our local phone box is a K6, but I’ll be pulling over to count panes next time we pass it.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I’m the same with BPS, I hope it doesn’t get pulled down – it always seems to be at the centre of debate. I’m going to be staring at panes aswell and the crowns!

      Liked by 1 person

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