South City Beach Kiosk

Author

Town of Cambridge

Place Number

26251

Location

Challenger Pde City Beach

Location Details

Local Government

Cambridge

Region

Metropolitan

Construction Date

Constructed from 1970

Demolition Year

N/A

Statutory Heritage Listings

Type Status Date Documents
Heritage List Adopted 27 Nov 2018

Heritage Council Decisions and Deliberations

Type Status Date Documents
(no listings)

Other Heritage Listings and Surveys

Type Status Date Grading/Management
Category
Municipal Inventory Adopted 27 Nov 2018 Category 2

Parent Place or Precinct

09108 City Beach, Groyne and Lookout Tower

Statement of Significance

The place has aesthetic value as a rare intact example of a concrete building exhibiting Late 20th century Brutalist influences in an organic style; Together with the remaining Floreat Kiosk, the pair has aesthetic value as landmarks on the beach front which exhibit unusual form and construction; The place has historic value for its association with a period of innovation and experimentation in building design in the 1960s; The place has historic value for its association with prominent architects in Western Australia during the 1960s and 1970s; Paul Ritter and Tony Brand; The place has social value for many members of the community from the Town of Cambridge and the wider Perth metropolitan area for its association with visits to the beach since 1970.

Physical Description

The organic form of the two remaining kiosks forms a distinctive element of the beach and coastline in City Beach and Floreat. The South City Beach Kiosk sits below the road level and on the edge of the beach making it invisible in certain views from the car parking areas and dunes along Jubilee Crescent/Challenger Parade. As a beach kiosk, it has a prominent position within the beach setting. The kiosk is of concrete formwork construction enabling the organic form to be clearly defined. The curve and irregularity of the shape together with the contrast of smooth concrete and the corrugated finish are the key elements of the design. The functional spaces of the kiosk and change rooms are completed by the flat roof that resembles the turned up brim of a sunhat. The external form of the kiosk remains largely intact with only the colour scheme and small details changing. The concrete is beginning to show signs of damage in places with corrosion of the reinforcements becoming visible.

History

The suburb of City Beach had sporadic and modest development until the 1960s. The 1962 Empire Games in Perth which saw the development of lands in Perry Lakes for Games Village Houses led to adjacent landholdings being released for residential subdivision. The subdivisions alongside the coast in City Beach were largely created in the late 1960s. In the 1930s, basic timber buildings had been erected at popular beaches as tea rooms and change rooms. These facilities were no longer adequate in the late 1960s with more residents in the area and car ownership enabling those more distant from the beach to visit more frequently. The 1960s also saw the popularity and growth of surfing and the associated ‘surf culture’. Although not new to Western Australia, surfing and beach going became more popular and were closely associated with younger generations. The late 1960s can also be seen as a period of experimentation and rejection of past practices and attitudes. It was in the context of a newly established suburb providing for a young population keen to embrace new styles and technologies that the City Beach kiosks were built. It is therefore not surprising that an innovative approach was taken in the design of the new kiosks. Until 1994, the City of Perth was the local government authority responsible for the suburb of City Beach. During the 1960s, an influential figure in the offices of the City of Perth was architect and planner Paul Ritter. Ritter was a controversial and colourful figure in Western Australia in this period. He was trained in England and was brought to the City of Perth to advance local knowledge and philosophies of planning and design. Appointed as the City of Perth's first City Planner in 1965 he was dismissed in 1967 but engendered significant public support which led to his election as a City of Perth councillor from 1968 to 1986. Following his dismissal, Ritter established his own practice and was well known for exploring new techniques and philosophies, particularly in relation to art and design in the public realm. In 1969, his design of a wavy retaining wall in local Toodyay stone was built at City Beach. The design was influenced by the adjacent waves and sand dunes and was part of a larger Master Plan for City Beach prepared during his tenure at the City of Perth. The City of Perth subsequently engaged architecture firm Forbes and Fitzhardinge to design three new kiosks to serve City Beach. Architect Tony Brand was responsible for the organic design of the concrete kiosks which used corrugated iron as formwork for the walls and reinforced concrete for the roof structure. The use of concrete was a practical solution for this harsh environment but is also associated with brutalist design popular in this period. The name, Brutalism, does not refer to a harsh appearance, but derives from French for raw concrete (beton - brut) and was a style that focussed on affordable and functional public buildings. Tony Brand was an enthusiastic exponent of the style and many of his public buildings in Western Australia during the 1960s and 1970s demonstrate the style. However the organic curved style of the kiosks differs from the classic block Brutalist form. Tony Brand is understood to have designed the kiosks in response to Paul Ritter’s curved wall and the landscape. It is proposed by Geoffrey London that the roofs of the kiosks are representation of an inverted beach shell. Ritter was also an enthusiastic exponent of the use of formed concrete in the public realm and undertook several public projects in this material and wrote extensively on its application and the philosophy underpinning its use. During 1970/1971 the City of Perth spent $375,829 on works at City Beach including the new kiosks and change rooms, and the City of Perth Surf Club House. The decision to hold the Australian National Surf Life Saving Competitions at City Beach in 1971 would have been a significant impetus to complete the works. In the City of Perth Annual Report for that year it was noted that; During the year the facilities and conditions at City Beach were highly praised by both competitors and spectators at the Australian National Surf Championships. More than 1,400 lifesavers from all Australian states and a team from South Africa competed during the April carnival. Blending man-made feature and amenities into the natural beach scene will continue to enhance City Beach’s wide popularity. At the time of construction the concrete of the buildings were left unfinished as seen in the 1971 photographs. This finish was likely to have been the origin of the reference to the blending of man-made features into the natural beach scene. The kiosk north of the groyne located at the main City Beach was demolished in 2000 and the current restaurant and change rooms were built throughout 2001. Floreat Kiosk remains largely in its original form. The South City Beach Kiosk has been largely unchanged since construction. Painting of the external surfaces appears to have been undertaken on several occasions. Aerial photographs indicate the roof was treated with a black bituminised product in the early 2000s which has subsequently been replaced or overlaid. The South City Beach kiosk has been closed since 2014 and in late 2015 the public toilets were closed following the completion of new amenities nearby. Since that time there has been significant media coverage and community interest in the future of the building. Consequently, the Town of Cambridge have undertaken community engagement to determine the level of community interest in the future of the building. In April 2017, Peritas Engineers undertook a structural assessment of the building for the Town of Cambridge. Their conclusions were as follows: Overall the structure is in average condition. The load bearing walls and columns are in good condition and are showing no signs of structural damage. The top of the roof is in good condition, only requiring minor maintenance work. The area with significant structural damage is the slab soffit which is exposed to the environment. The delamination survey highlighted that concrete degradation due to corrosion of the reinforcement has taken place to over sixty percent of this area. In September 2017 the place is closed but continues to be maintained by the Town of Cambridge.

Integrity/Authenticity

Integrity: High Authenticity: High

Condition

Fair

Associations

Name Type Year From Year To
Tony Brand Architect - -
Paul Ritter Architect - -

Place Type

Individual Building or Group

Uses

Epoch General Specific
Original Use COMMERCIAL Shop\Retail Store {single}
Present Use VACANT\UNUSED Vacant\Unused

Architectural Styles

Style
Late 20th-Century Organic

Construction Materials

Type General Specific
Roof CONCRETE Other Concrete
Wall CONCRETE Other Concrete

Historic Themes

General Specific
PEOPLE Innovators

Creation Date

20 Aug 2019

Publish place record online (inHerit):

Approved

Last Update

20 Aug 2019

Disclaimer

This information is provided voluntarily as a public service. The information provided is made available in good faith and is derived from sources believed to be reliable and accurate. However, the information is provided solely on the basis that readers will be responsible for making their own assessment of the matters discussed herein and are advised to verify all relevant representations, statements and information.