Clever material selection has benefited a smooth operational service and customer experience at the new Brisbane Customer Service Centre (CSC) for the Queensland Department of Transport and Main Roads (TMR).

MODE were responsible for the refurbishment of the old TMR offices in Toowong, Brisbane and were asked to deliver a test bed project to guide all future TMR customer service centres throughout Queensland.

Briefed to place emphasis on the centre’s operational procedures and customer engagement, MODE responded with a customer focused interface that incorporates directional space planning and wayfinding.

In terms of customer engagement, MODE sought to create a simple and functional experience for CSC customers and one method applied was the simple wayfinding technique of varying coloured carpet tiles to indicate changes to visitor experience.

“Floor finishes in the public area were selected based on their alignment with the transport colour palette, durability and possibility for representation in a layout that highlighted the movement theme,” said the firm.

“Using both rubber and carpet selections from Signature Floors and Gibbon Group – we integrated typically black yellow and grey selections in a patterned set out designed to enhance flow through the space, indicate wait zones and the like.”

Applications of graphics and decals to the walls were designed by the firm’s in-house illustrator Steve McFeat and supply reference to local context and again played a functional role.

“Localising the site was a high priority for TMR and as such the local landmarks and topography of Toowong feature heavily throughout,” said the architects about the graphic artwork.

“The practical requirements of height measurement and photos, required for licensing, are incorporated into the graphic scheme using Halftone print style dot layouts. Lines for the height measurement bar are integral to the wall graphics while the halftone is used to indicate a camera for the photo booths which were incorporated onto existing screens.”

Similarly, paint colours were selected to formally define the role of spaces to visitors:

“The graphics, along with the use of vibrant colours - traffic yellow for public and apple green for staff areas – work integrally with the directional space planning and material selection to delineate public and back of house zoning,” said MODE.

“Security, zoning and movement were also considered throughout the fitout, ensuring staff have a secure line for safety without this being extremely obvious to the public.”

The architects said that the tenancy posed considerable difficulties for the ceiling treatment due to the low floor to floor heights and sizable Air Handling Units. In response, and in accordance to the recurring project themes of the Brisbane River and movement, a bespoke timber veneer design item crafted by Alan Early Joiners was chosen for the customer service zone and is highlighted by KLIK linear lighting.

Plasterboard set ceilings, bulkheads and feature lighting in the waiting and reception areas are also designed to create movement paths.

MODE say their open layout design and customer screening elements will cut waiting times from 11 minutes to seven and will be a model for the future of the state’s 59 facilities.

The $750,000, 533sqm fitout came in on budget and was completed in June 2014.

For more wayfinding and carpet tile ideas see Cecilia Kugler from CK Design International tips here:

Images: Angus Martin