US 20040060588 A1
A kiosk structure of hollow rotary moulded plastic counter modules having a body of circular segmental configuration with top horizontal surface, horizontal bottom surface, vertical front and back walls and opposing ends of the body having a vertical bore through the top surfaces. A number of vertical support posts vertically disposed within the bores are fixed to the module beneath the top surface. A variety of differently shaped arrays can be constructed of counter modules with a lintel spanning between a post of each adjacent counter module of the array, the posts and lintels can support a tubular frame roof with fabric extending across the frame providing shelter. The kiosk structure can be easily assembled and disassembled for temporary events or for storage in off season.
1. A kiosk structure comprising:
a counter module having a body of selected configuration with top horizontal surface, bottom surface and opposing ends of the body having vertical bores through the top surface;
at least one vertical wall connecting the top and bottom surfaces: and
a plurality of support posts vertically disposed within the bores and fixed to the module beneath the top surface.
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a plurality of appendages extending from the bottom surface.
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at least two like counter modules disposed in an array; and
a lintel spanning between a post of each adjacent module of the array.
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 This is a continuation-in-part of application No. 09/940,052 filed Aug. 27. 2001.
 The invention relates to an improved kiosk for beach or patio use having an number of hollow plastic counter/cabinet units with a hexagonal shade roof structure having support posts anchored in a sand or soil layer.
 Temporary or permanent kiosks or shelter structures are often used at beaches, in parks, during temporary events, such as music concerts or markets. A kiosk usually includes a roof structure for shelter from sun and rain, a counter structure for display and sale, and may have cabinet space for storage of goods to avoid exposure to weather, dust, insects and animals.
 Depending on the permanence of the kiosk structure, materials used may include steel plate, pipes, wood or plastic. Lightweight materials are generally preferred for ease of transport and assembly.
 More permanent kiosk structures are sometimes constructed at beach hotels or parks. Alternatively, temporary tent structures are provided, however due to strong winds a tent structure is of limited use. More commonly due to the harsh environment of strong winds, wave or spray from rough seas during storms, salt and intense sunlight, wood, metal, concrete blocks or other more permanent building materials are used for constructing beach side kiosks. Such kiosks are commonly used for serving beverages, sale of clothing, rental of snorkeling or scuba diving equipment, etc.
 In many cases however, the harsh environment severely damages or weathers the building materials. The roof structure may require rebuilding due to heavy winds and frequent painting or replacement of broken components results in high maintenance costs and delay in starting up operations when peak business seasons approaches.
 In addition, kiosks are often used for temporary events such as boat races, music concerts, temporary markets, and festivals. Conventional materials are generally heavy and require significant effort in constructing and removing after a temporary event. Promoters of the event or a hotel promoting beach side activities for example may also wish to ensure that kiosks structures are of a complementary style and aesthetic appearance, that adds to and does not detract from the carefully designed environment of the hotel.
 It is an object of the present invention to provide a lightweight easily constructed kiosk, which includes a roof for shelter, counter top space and storage space.
 It is a further object of the invention to provide a kiosk structure that can be easily assembled and disassembled from standard modular components without the need for heavy lifting, tools or equipment, foundation structures, excessive labour or skill.
 Further objects of the invention will be apparent from review of the disclosure and description of the invention below.
 The invention provides a kiosk structure of hollow rotary moulded plastic counter modules having a body of circular segmental configuration with top horizontal surface, horizontal bottom surface, vertical front and back walls and at least two vertical sleeves at opposing ends of the body having a vertical bore through the top and bottom surfaces. A like number of vertical support posts within the bores have a bottom portion anchored within a granular beach sand or soil foundation layer. A variety of differently shaped arrays can be constructed of counter modules with a lintel spanning between a post of each adjacent counter module of the array. The posts and lintels can support a tubular frame roof with fabric extending across the frame providing shelter. The kiosk structure can be easily assembled and disassembled from standard modular components in a variety of shapes and sizes for temporary events or for storage in off-season.
 The kiosk structure is supported on vertical posts that may have different base configurations depending on the nature of the supporting ground surface. For example, on hard pavement surfaces, the posts may have adjustable height feet to level, raise and lower the modules, the post feet may include wheels, or anchoring plates to secure the posts to the pavement, or the bottom end of posts may be securely anchored by piercing a beach sand substratum. The bottom surface of the counter module is preferably raised above the pavement or sand to prevent dirt, sand and debris from being blown into the shelf area to contaminate the beverages or material stored behind cabinet doors. The hollow rotary moulded plastic body of the counter module also helps to insulate the interior shelving from heat and cold. For example, products may melt or beverages may be stored and insulated to a degree by the dead air space within the hollow moulded plastic body. Further, in the event that the kiosk structure is damaged by strong winds, the hollow moulded plastic bodies can float on water surfaces and if driven by wind are relatively light weight and will not cause significant property damage or pose a significant risk of injury to persons.
 According to a preferred embodiment of the invention, vertical bores are provided only on the top surface of the hollow rotary moulded plastic counter module. Vertical support posts are positioned within the bores and fixed to the counter module at a position below the top surface, typically with a coupling. As the posts in this embodiment do not protrude from a bottom surface, appendages extending from the bottom surface are preferably provided to support the counter module on a ground surface. As with the base configuration of the posts in the previous embodiment, the configuration of the appendages may differ depending on the nature of the ground surface. The appendages may, but not necessarily, be formed as part of the hollow rotary moulded plastic counter module. Further, counter modules according to this preferred embodiment may similarly be arranged in an array and provided with a covered roof structure.
 A significant advantage of the invention is the ability to assemble and disassemble relatively lightweight modular components into various shapes. The present disclosure and drawings relate to a simple array of three crescent shaped counter modules in a circular or hexagonal kiosk shape. However, it will be apparent that a string of modules can be constructed in virtually any desired shape using the same methods and components. The shape of the counter array and the roof structure can be varied to suit the needs of a particular application. Also of significant advantage is the interchangeability of identical modular components so that the same components can be used by a hotel for example to accommodate various activities in different areas of a hotel complex at different times. The modular nature of the components enables them to be repeatedly assembled into different arrangements, taken apart and stored easily during off-season thereby minimizing damage and to exposure to weather or vandalism.
 Further details of the invention and its advantages will be apparent from the detailed description and drawings included below.
 In order that the invention may be readily understood, the invention will be described by way of examples, with reference to the accompanying drawings wherein:
FIG. 1 shows a top plan transparent view through the kiosk roof showing fabric roof covering and tubular roof frame of hexagonal shape, supported on six vertical posts extending through three circular segment shaped counter modules and anchoring the kiosk within a sand beach.
FIG. 2 shows a side elevation view of the kiosk of FIG. 1 with three counter modules supported on six vertical posts with tubular frame roof structure.
FIG. 3 is a top plan view of a single counter module showing interior partitions that form shelves with cabinet doors mounted to shelf access openings in the vertical back wall.
FIG. 4 shows an elevation view of the back wall with cabinet doors along line 4-4 of FIG. 3.
FIG. 5 shows a sectional view through the counter module along line 5-5 of FIG. 3.
FIG. 6 is a side perspective view of an assembled kiosk combination with two canopy roof structures, and showing posts with horizontal base member and anchor plate.
FIG. 7 is a perspective view of a preferred embodiment of the single counter module.
FIG. 8 is a back perspective view of the single counter module of FIG. 7 showing adjustable posts fixed to the counter module below the top surface and a mounted hinged door.
FIG. 9 is a perspective view of a partially assembled kiosk using two counter modules of FIG. 8 showing lintels spanning the posts.
FIG. 10 is a perspective view of a kiosk assembled using three counter modules of FIG. 8 shoving lintels spanning the posts and supporting a tubular frame roof structure.
FIG. 11 is a perspective view of the kiosk of FIG. 10 with a fabric stretched over the tubular frame roof structure.
 In the description and drawings, like numerals refer to like structures. FIGS. 1 and 2 show one example of a kiosk structure with three identical counter modules 1 with six support posts 2 disposed within bores 3 (see FIG. 3) in vertical sleeves at opposing ends of the counter module body 1 extending between the top surface 4 and bottom surface 5. A bottom portion 6 of each support post 2 is anchored within a granular foundation layer 7, such as the sand of the beach or soil of a garden area. Burying the bottom portion 6 of each post 2 into the sand layer 7 provides secure mounting for the counter modules 1 as shown in the example of FIG. 2. Alternatively, as shown in FIG. 6, the posts 2 may have a horizontal member joining the bottom ends with an anchor plate 19 for mounting to a hard paved surface. The posts 2 may have adjustable height feet, may include wheels or anchoring bolts depending on the nature of the supporting surface.
 As shown in FIGS. 3, 4. 5 and 7, the counter modules 1 have a body formed as a hollow rotary moulded plastic shell in the example shown with a substantially circular segment or crescent shaped top surface 4, a vertical front wall 8 and a vertical back wall 9. The counter module hollow shell 1 includes, two horizontal shelves 10 below the top horizontal surface 4. The front wall 8 is closed and faces the purchaser, whereas the back wall 9 includes several shelf access openings with cabinet doors 11 mounted to the back wall 9 with hinges 12, 13.
 The cabinet doors 11 are also hollow rotary moulded plastic components and the hinges are simply formed of inter-engaging recesses 12 in the upper and lower edges of the shelf access openings and similar shape protrusions 13 on the upper and lower edges of the cabinet doors 11. Due to the flexible nature of the hollow plastic structure, the cabinet doors 11 can be snapped in and out resiliently on the protrusions 13 by engaging the recesses 12. As a result, the cost and complexity of mechanical hinges can be eliminated and simple manufacture and maintenance as well as cleaning are facilitated.
 As best shown in FIGS. 3 and 5, the shelves 10 and access openings can be formed in the hollow rotary moulded plastic body 1 with vertical partitions 14. The lattice structure of shelves 10 and partitions 14 serve to reinforce and restrain the counter module shell 1.
 As indicated by FIGS. 1 and 2, adjacent counter modules 1 can be disposed in an array with a lintel 15 between the posts 2 of each adjacent module 1 of the array. The lintel 15 may be of length sufficient to space the ends of adjacent modules 1 apart thereby providing a passage way for servers or employees to access the interior of the kiosk and materials stored behind cabinet doors 11. The lintels 15 also extend laterally to support tubular rafters 16 to form a tubular frame roof. Stretched over the tubular frame of rafters 16 and lintel 15, is a fabric 17 layer for supply shade and shelter. The tubular posts 2 may also support fabric curtains 20 for shade, wind protection or mounting advertisements for example. As shown in FIG. 6, the space between adjacent shells 1 may include hinged doors 18 mounted for rotation on the edges of the shells 1.
 FIGS. 7 to 11 show counter modules, and kiosks assembled therewith, according to an alternative and preferred embodiment of the invention.
 Referring to FIG. 7, a single counter module according to the preferred embodiment is shown. In this embodiment, bores 3 are provided only on the top surface 4 of the counter module 1. The counter module 1 also comprises module apertures 25 at the lateral ends of the counter module 1 between the top surface 4 and the bottom surface 5. The counter module 1 further comprises appendages 21, 22. The appendages 21,22 can be formed as part of the hollow rotary plastic moulded shell.
 Referring to FIG. 8, the counter module of FIG. 7 is shown with posts 2 and a hinged door 18. Posts 2 are provided with post apertures 24 at intervals arranged along its axis. In operation, posts 2 are disposed within the bores 3. The posts 2 are fixed below the top surface 4 using a coupling 23 inserted through a module aperture 25 and a post apertures 24. Posts 2 may thus be height adjusted by vertically displacing the posts 2 in relation to the module aperture 25 and inserting the coupling 23 into a desired post aperture 24—module aperture 25 pair. In this embodiment of the invention, since the posts 2 do not protrude from the bottom surface 5, appendages 21,22 serve to support the kiosk on a ground surface (such as a sand layer 7). The hinged door 18 is mounted to the lateral end of the counter module 1 via the post 2 at the top surface 4 and via an appendage 21 at the bottom surface 5.
 Referring to FIG. 9, a partially assembled kiosk is shown using two counter modules 1 of FIG. 8. Counter modules 1 are disposed in an array by connecting each counter module 1 with one or more lintels 15 between the posts 2 of each adjacent counter module 1 of the array. Referring to FIG. 10, an assembled kiosk, using three counter modules 1 of FIG. 8, with a roof structure is shown. The tubular roof structure comprises a plurality of tubular rafters 16. The lintels 15 extend laterally to support the tubular rafters 16. Referring to FIG. 11, a completed kiosk with roof is shown. The kiosk of FIG. 10 is provided with an additional fabric 17 layer for supply of shade and shelter. This fabric layer is stretched and secured to the roof structure.
 Although the above description and accompanying drawings relate to a specific preferred embodiment as presently contemplated by the inventor, it will be understood that the invention in its broad aspect includes mechanical and functional equivalents of the elements described and illustrated.