'Out of Order' – London, England - Atlas Obscura

'Out of Order'

A domino effect created with Britain’s iconic telephone boxes. 


A stroll through the historic town of Kingston upon Thames, now part of London, may lead curious visitors to a dozen phone boxes leaning against one another like a set of dominoes. 

This art installation is known as “Out of Order” by David Mach and was installed in 1989. While it’s not quite as iconic as its inspiration, the red telephone box designed by Giles Gilbert Scott, this public art installation has since become one of Kingston’s most iconic landmarks, amusing locals and tourists alike.

Over the years, these disused phone boxes were reportedly infested with rats and trash until they were restored. To celebrate its 30th anniversary, “Out of Order” was repainted, refurbished, and restored to its erstwhile glory, rarely failing to amuse onlookers.

Know Before You Go

The installation can be found at the western end of Old London Road, near the Travelodge. From the town centre walk down Clarence Road towards the arched sign across the street.  The upright phone box is “out of order” as well, so don’t expect to be able to call.

The area is level and pedestrianised and is viewable at any time. 

In partnership with KAYAK

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