A visually stunning piece of public architecture by McBride Charles Ryan, the design and construction of the Yardmaster building is a lasting example of how beautiful and versatile precast concrete can be.
From the beginning, Yardmaster had the user in mind, with significant consultation from all stakeholders including the rail workers union.
Functional on the inside, the Yardmaster uses the "Rolls Royce" of precast concrete sandwich panels to represent "a jewel in a junkyard". This gem is hidden from all but the keenest of rail commuters peering out the window on the northern approach to Southern Cross Station, who may wonder what could be hidden inside.
Accessible only from a tunnel underneath, owing to its location between the railway tracks, the Yardmaster building houses a gym and locker room, as well as offices and an observation room.
Utilising Thermomass insulated precast concrete sandwich panels, the building is insulated from the outside, placing a large, dense concrete wall on the inside.
With the high thermal mass of the concrete, the building is comfortable all year round, as the temperature is passively regulated with minimal need for extra heating and cooling.
The Yardmaster project is an example of what can be done with precast concrete and your imagination. Visit McBride Charles Ryan to read more. The Age has also covered this important part of public infrastructure.