Barestone cladding panels from Cemintel® were specified along with glass and timber for the redeveloped Sydney Superyacht Marina precinct. Set in an industrial part of Sydney Harbour, the redeveloped Superyacht Marina represents both strength and style, with the contemporary buildings designed to enrich the character of Rozelle Bay.

The design brief sought to fit in the marina with its natural environment while offering 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,” says architect John Ferres from Scott Carver Architects.

“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.”

Ferres explained that 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,” Ferres says. “Some of these yachts are 50 metres plus, which is a very large yacht with a substantial crew.”

The marina building features a steel-framed structure clad with glass and masonry at ground level, and 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 a 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,” he explained.

Stuart Bell from Richard Crookes Construction recalled that the build had a few challenges because the site was on reclaimed land. Issues with seawater and rising water levels slowed down the project since they had to wait for king tides, time the concrete pouring with low tides, and use stainless steel to prevent rust.

There were also some complicated design elements to consider when installing the Barestone cladding panels, according to Bell.

“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.”

The architect said they selected Barestone because its ‘gritty’ raw concrete look was a good fit for the industrial aesthetic and created a strong contrast to the timber ceiling lining.

It was also a practical choice that worked for the design. Concrete would have been too heavy for the design whereas the lightweight Barestone shell was 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,” Ferres added.

Cemintel Barestone is a prefinished, 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.

Being prefinished, the panels were simply taken up and screwed in place with no need for sanding or painting. It was installed and finished in one seamless operation.

“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 Barestone cladding. It’s got an honest look to it,” Ferres concluded.