This iCity Information Kiosk designed by Coniglio Ainsworth Architects is the final phase of the Forrest place redevelopment project and was opened in October 2014 by the Rt Hon. Lord Major Ms Lisa Scaffidi on behalf of the City of Perth.
The Information Kiosk is a service provided by the City of Perth that is staffed by volunteers who are on hand every day to answer questions and provide all the latest information on events, activities, shopping and attractions in the city. The Kiosk also provides free resources including City maps and self-guided tour brochures. The volunteers also conduct orientation walking tours and specialty walking tours.
The contemporary fluid form of the design is an intentional counterpoint to the style of the surrounding buildings that define the square. The design ensures the facility is recognisable for the public to readily access information about events, sites and attractions around the City.
The public service counter is a fundamental component of the corporate branding of the kiosk "front of house". Thousands of members of public will interact with volunteer staff at the counter annually and Corian® graphic blue was the ideal selection to compliment the internationally identifiable information branding colour.
The welcoming semicircular form of the countertop enables kiosk staff to face 3 of the 4 primary pedestrian axis at this intersection between Forrest Place and Murray Street mall. The countertop shape also enables staff to position themselves away from the weather and screen themselves with the sliding windows.
The countertop is cantilevered to avoid the need for any internal support legs, providing complete freedom for staff to position themselves within the kiosk to best address the public. This also maximises the functionality and accessibility for volunteer staff that use wheelchairs. The counter height also accommodates public wheelchair access externally. The Corian® counter has smooth rounded edges internally and externally helping minimise discomfort and the potential for incidental bruises and scratches to members of the public and volunteer staff alike. A significant number of the volunteer staff are elderly so such considerations were key to the project.
External curved brochure display slots have been integrated into the outer face of the counter to enable people to quickly obtain information in a "grab and go" fashion rather than having to interact with service staff. Corian® enabled a seamless welded junction between these counter and external brochure display surfaces.
Corian® was also ideal as it allowed the curved sliding window base tracks to be recessed within the depth of the countertop so that the top of these tracks could be set flush with the top surface of the counter. This ensures a completely smooth surface for the public when they are using the counter and leaning across the inset window threshold. The kiosks clever structural design also meant that no vertical support mullions or columns were required for the sliding windows allowing the expansive counter space to be completely uncluttered.
Corian® was also chosen for the counter due to its UV stability, maintenance properties and resistance to vandalism, as the outer external portion of the counter is subjected to direct sunlight, driving rain and the public after hours.
The central combined brochure display and staff tea prep unit is formed out of Corian® Glacier Ice and discretely houses a large myriad of items required for everyday running of the kiosk. It provides for; general storage, integrated Corian brochure display slots, integrated Corian® tea prep sink and counter, zip mixer unit, rubbish disposal, deportment and grooming storage, personal affects storage, refrigeration unit, hot water unit, computer server etc. The cabinet also houses a ducted plenum for the discreetly located reverse cycle air-conditioning system. The form of the cabinet is designed to maximise brochure display facing the public and to screen the back of house tea prep from public view. This helps ensure that a high standard of "shop front" presentation is maintained at all times.
All cupboard door panels are clad in Corian® Glacier White to give the unit a consistent monolithic appearance. The Glacier White Corian® colour blends with the white mosaic tiles of the kiosk primary facade surface/skin, giving visual prominence to the brochures on display and the Corian® Graphic Blue public countertop, rather than competing with them.
The Kiosk provides a dynamic gateway between Forrest Place and Murray Street Mall and an exciting welcome point for tourists and visitors to the City.