South City Beach Kiosk and Changerooms

June 8, 2020

Address: Challenger Parade, City Beach
Architect: Forbes and Fitzhardinge
Style: Brutalist
Type: Public
Year: 1970
Author: Neil Cownie
Heritage Listing: State Heritage Listing - 26251, Heritage Council of Western Australia
Awards: No

Architecture practice Forbes and Fitzhardinge were commissioned by the City of Perth to design three kiosk buildings to serve the City Beach and Floreat Beach beachfront areas.
Both the South City Beach and Floreat concrete kiosk buildings remain, while the central City Beach concrete kiosk building was demolished in the year 2000.
Tony Brand was the design architect responsible for all three kiosk buildings which display organic, fluid concrete shapes in both plan and roof form. Inspiration for the organic forms of the kiosk design came from Tony Brand’s interest in the Beton-brut buildings by Le Corbusier and from the 1969 Toodyay stone retaining walls as previously designed by architect Paul Ritter.
The kiosk buildings sit amongst the sand dunes of the beach front where their exposed concrete finish has proved to be a suitably practical and robust finish for the harsh marine environment. The concrete walls of the building were formed using corrugated iron as formwork.
The organic and fluid shapes of this concrete building are the perfect fit for the building’s location between the ocean side dunes and the retaining walls.
The City Beach and Floreat Beach kiosk buildings were the most sculptural works in architect Tony Brands ongoing fascination with the use of concrete in the design of buildings, and with the work of French architect, Le Corbusier.
The concrete building performed way beyond its original intended use, as its kidney shaped roof served for many years as the perfect bowl for skaters to use through the 1990’s. In 1999 skater Brett Margaritis, was captured doing a ‘sunset floater’ from the roof of the kiosk in a classic image by photographer Mike O’Meally. Mike’s work appeared in surf and skate magazines the likes of Monster Children, Slam, and Slap magazine before moving to work in New York.

Neil Cownie