Architect John Ferres from Scott Carver Architects says the redeveloped marina had to fit in with its environment and offer something new. “It’s a strong urban maritime setting with structures like the White Bay Power Station and ANZAC Bridge nearby, and the large yachts in the foreground,” John says.
“We had an opportunity to add some great texture and grain to the foreshore. People talk about a working harbour – an accessible area that’s open to the public. This marina gives an opportunity for people to come and spend time at the harbour.”
He says the brief was to create an inner-city maritime precinct that would serve as a land-based home for people working on superyachts, with up to 45 berths at the marina. Superyachts are more than 30 metres long, worth over $10 million, and generally have a crew of 6 to 15 members.
“The marina is not only a place for visitors to the foreshore, it’s also a home for the staff on the yachts, as they live there and work there,” John says. “Some of these yachts are 50-metres plus which is a very large yacht with a substantial crew.”
The steel-framed structure is clad with glass and masonry at ground level, with Cemintel’s BareStone cladding on the first floor and roofs. A vertical car lift on the north side of the site breaks the skyline with mast-like presence. “From the inside you’re looking out across the yachts to the harbour and the city, so we had to make the most of those spectacular views as well,” John says.
Stuart Bell from Richard Crookes Construction says the build had a few challenges because the site was on reclaimed land. “We had issues with seawater and rising water levels – it definitely slowed us down,” Stuart says. “We had to wait for king tides, time the concrete pouring with low tides, and use stainless steel to prevent rust.”
He says there were also some complicated design elements to consider when installing the BareStone panels. “We had some intricate angles because it was on a diagonal roof and could be seen from ANZAC Bridge. We had to line it up carefully with the right fixings and use the right colour so you couldn’t see them. It was great the product was so easy to manoeuvre – we didn’t need cranes and it was easier to get it into tricky positions, like the sharp angles used in the project.”
John says they selected BareStone because its “gritty” raw concrete look fit with the industrial aesthetic and created a strong contrast to the timber ceiling lining.
It was also a practical choice that worked for the design.
“In this situation, we might have used concrete but it’s far too heavy. The lightweight BareStone shell is essentially suspended across the ground floor – it deliberately overhangs and leans towards the water to set up some tension.”
“We also needed something resilient because there are large roads nearby. It needs to be able to handle a lot of dust and atmospheric pollution.” Cemintel BareStone is a pre-finished, lightweight cladding system that combines the look of raw cement with easy installation.
The 9mm compressed panels are coated in Cemintel’s unique CeminSeal technology, which stops water from penetrating into the sheet and eliminates the need to paint on site.
“It’s prefinished – so it goes up, is screwed in place and then it’s done. There’s no sanding and no painting. It was installed and finished in one seamless operation,” John says.
“We weren’t sure if the fine edges could be achieved, but they came out really well. I’m very impressed with the results of the Cemintel cladding. It’s got an honest look to it.”