“We recommend the installation of a loud-speaking telephone which would communicate directly with each of the flats above. This would provide a most useful service, enabling callers to ascertain whether a tenant is at home before using the lift; in this way sufficient fruitless journeys would be saved – with the consequent reduction in wear on lift mechanism – to justify the small extra cost of this limited form of internal communicating system.”
Chamberlin, Powell & Bon, Architects “Barbican Redevelopment” April 1959
In the tower blocks, there is a full time porter at a reception desk. He has an entryphone console on the reception desk which he can use to speak to residents in their flats.
In the terrace blocks, the main entrance doors at podium level stay locked for security reasons. When a caller presses the appropriate button, a buzzer sounds in your flat. You can talk to the caller by lifting the entry phone, which is usually fixed to the wall near the door. A button on the phone base unlocks the main door as long as the buzzer buzzes. The door automatically relocks as it closes.