The Architecture of Telephone Exchanges

And the role they have played in shaping lives in the UK

Technological advances are rapidly rendering telephone exchange equipment obsolete, along with the buildings designed to accommodate it.

Telephone exchange buildings are now leased or sold for change use or complete redevelopment at an increasing rate, with remarkably little attention paid to their architectural value. They are generally unobtrusive, everyday buildings easily overlooked or even forgotten.

The standard types and modular construction may not have captured the general public’s imagination, but these buildings have nonetheless played a significant part in shaping our modern way of life.

  • Built Environment
  • Information and Communications
  • Telecommunications
  • Women in Engineering

Continuing Professional Development

This event can contribute towards your Continuing Professional Development (CPD) hours as part of the IET's CPD monitoring scheme.


15 Dec 2023

2:00pm - 3:30pm

Add to Calendar 12/15/2023 14:00 12/15/2023 15:30 The Architecture of Telephone Exchanges To better understand the history of telephone exchange buildings, their architecture and key decisions that have impacted townscapes and villages across the UK for the last 100 + years. Savoy Pl, London WC2R 0BL, UK


London Local Network

Registration Information

These lectures are preceded by an optional lunch where there is an opportunity to network with colleagues.

If you wish to attend this lecture, please book a place on the IET website.

During the booking process you will have the opportunity to pre-book a lunch at Savoy Place.  The cost for a two-course meal with wine is £23.60 incl VAT. It is ESSENTIAL to pre-book lunch and pay for it on this website.

Reservations for lunch can be made up to 11pm on the Monday prior to the event (subject to availability).

Bookings for the lecture only can be made up to noon on the day prior to the event (subject to availability).

No payment for the event lunch can be made at Savoy Place.


  • You don’t need to be a member to log into the system.
  • You can book for more than one person; you just need to add the other guest(s) name(s).
  • You can add any special dietary requirements during the booking process.
  • The website price quoted is exclusive of VAT.  VAT will be added when you pay.
  • You will receive a confirmation of your booking & payment if made.
  • You can cancel your booking - the T&C’s are below.  You can do this by contacting

Terms and conditions

  • 5+ days before the event date - Full refund.
  • 4 days before the event date - No refund.
  • Name substitutions are accepted at any time by fax or email, the IET reserves the right to charge a transfer fee


Lisa Kinch

Lisa Kinch

Tutor - Manchester School of Architecture

Lisa Kinch is an ARB-registered architect and tutor at the Manchester School of Architecture and the University of Salford. She is currently undertaking a PhD at Lancaster University, where she is researching the history of post-war telephone exchange buildings and the relationships between ‘official architecture’, technology and the state in collaboration with BT Archives and Historic England. 

Reasons to attend

To gain an insight into the Architecture and History of the UK Telephone Exchanges and their role following the internet revolution.


IET London: Savoy Place

2 Savoy Place
United Kingdom

The London headquarters of the IET.

We are committed to having an environmentally responsible event portfolio and we are working hard to plan and implement events which reflect sustainable event best practices.

We are working with venues and suppliers that demonstrate best environmental practices, in particular achieving zero food waste, no single-use plastics, along with recycling and re-use of paper, metal, plastic and glass.

In order to reduce the carbon footprint of the event, we strongly encourage delegates to walk, cycle or use public transport to attend the event.

We’re fully committed to reducing our impact on the environment and are constantly looking for ways to become more sustainable.



Arrival for optional lunch

It is essential to sign in at the Faraday reception desk which is on the second floor for IET building before entering the Faraday Centre


Optional lunch


Arrival for lecture

It is essential to sign in separately for attendance at the lecture. Note this is required for IET attendance records purposes and is different to the Faraday signing-in procedure.


The lecture starts promptly at 14:00


Questions and discussion


Optional tea/coffee in the Faraday Centre.

Free for members.  

Note before entering the Faraday Centre you must sign in at the reception desk. Please sign out when leaving the Faraday Centre




Free of charge (£23.60 for lunch)

Register now