SkyCity Adelaide Casino, raising the limit

The SkyCity Adelaide Casino Expansion is the crowning jewel of the Adelaide Riverbank Precinct. Spanning 12-storeys, behind the complex curved golden façade sits an array of bespoke joinery, stonework and brass. Featuring 120 luxury 5 Star rooms, function and conference spaces, expanded gaming, four new restaurants and two new bars, spa and wellness centre and a boutique pool. This is Adelaide’s newest luxury destination, requiring exceptional planning, commitment and attention to detail from the project team.
In 1985, one of Australia’s largest privately owned construction companies Hansen Yuncken began an association with the Adelaide Casino, using innovative building techniques to convert the historic Adelaide train station to the city’s premier entertainment complex.
Collaborating again, Hansen Yuncken has undertaken the exciting development which expands the Casino’s existing footprint, and seamlessly integrate the grand heritage railway station with a modern, sophisticated and iconic new building.

Thinking Outside the Box Construction
As Managing Contractor, Hansen Yuncken commenced construction in June 2018. Senior Project Manager David Focareta said the redevelopment posed several challenges which were solved using the ingenuity and resourcefulness of the project team.
“We established teams to manage the project in three sections – the casino, hotel and restaurants. In addition, we had to utilise Hansen Yuncken’s experience in managing logistics in a busy location without causing inconvenience to a wide range of stakeholders.”
Located in the heart of the CBD on North Terrace, surrounded by the Intercontinental Hotel, Adelaide Convention Centre, Adelaide Festival Centre, a neighbouring construction site and the existing operational casino, meticulous planning, transparent and collaborative communication was established at project commencement.
To comply with the SkyCity project brief, Hansen Yuncken had to provide uninterrupted access for all delivery vehicles through the construction site on a 24/7 basis while the main concrete structure was constructed above. Hansen Yuncken designed a temporary steel structure with ceiling lengths up to 18m. After six weeks, the upper concrete slab achieved the required concrete strength and the temporary structure was dismantled and stripped. The temporary gantry allowed for unimpeded deliveries including the bump-in and bump-out of major shows at the Adelaide Festival Centre. For the Aladdin production, over eight days, 41 x 40ft semi-trailers were delivering staging, costumes and props underneath the construction site. All deliveries, including construction vehicles and concrete trucks, required meticulous planning to ensure business continuity for all Riverbank stakeholders. “In addition, we managed a public interface with a high-volume pedestrian environment including access for sporting events, for the public’s safety and to maintain access a pedestrian gantry was constructed. Entry to the gantry was coordinated for agreed sporting events then closed to allow construction works to occur,” David said. A crucial factor in the project was stakeholder engagement. “We needed to understand their requirements and ensure their businesses could run as smoothly as possible even though access to their loading docks was through the construction site itself. The proximity to stakeholders also proved problematic due to the extent of demolition and interfacing works which inevitably produced noise and vibration.” Hansen Yuncken’s stakeholder engagement strategy was to establish open two-way lines of communication. Regular meetings were held to address any concerns and advise of upcoming works. By getting on the front foot, the Hansen Yuncken team built strong and trusted relationships with all stakeholders, allowing construction to continue alongside their business operations with little to no interruptions.

Blending Functionality and Glamour
“SkyCity Adelaide Casino has a very high standard of finish which is rarely seen in South Australia, Hansen Yuncken is extremely proud to achieve this level of standard,” David continued. “From the very beginning, our goal was to exceed SkyCity’s expectations and deliver the build and finishes to the highest standard possible and meet budget expectations. We wanted to tick every box!” Crystal chandeliers hang elegantly, and marble bathrooms add a touch of class to the hotel suites. Custom carpets and crafted ceiling panels set the tone for the high-end gaming areas while the boutique pool and surrounds provide a space to relax and forget about the day to day. Evident on every floor, the entire venue delicately blends functionality and glamour with no detail missed – a testament to the entire project team who have shown an exceptional level of dedication and pride in delivering this iconic project for SkyCity and South Australia. Embedded into the fabric of Adelaide’s Riverbank skyline, SkyCity Adelaide Casino represents the third recent development for Hansen Yuncken following the new Royal Adelaide Hospital and UniSA Cancer Research Institute. Now, works continue our most recent Riverbank win, the Adelaide Festival Plaza completing the Adelaide Riverbank’s revitalisation.

Credit: Australian National Construction Review