Michael Chernyavsky

Transforming Central Station

Senior Structural Engineer, Aurecon; Bachelor of Engineering (Civil, Architecture), University of New South Wales; Member of Engineers Australia

Performing open-heart surgery while the body remains 100 per cent functional during the operation is a daunting prospect. The task is no less challenging when it comes to transport infrastructure.

That was the challenge Aurecon Senior Structural Engineer Michael Chernyavsky MIEAust faced when designing engineering solutions for the northern concourse colonnade and canopy at Sydney’s Central Station Metro works.

With more than 270,000 daily commuters, Central Station is Sydney’s busiest railway interchange. As part of the country’s largest public transport infrastructure project — the Sydney Metro — the station is undergoing a major transformation to its heritage front door, including a new northern concourse and a spectacular 35 m x 70 m x 12 m high feature roof.

Chernyavsky, who has previous experience on projects such as Bankwest Stadium and Sydney Football Stadium, undertook multi-faceted design solutions for the highly complex canopy.

With more than 270,000 daily commuters, Central Station is Sydney’s busiest railway interchange.

This involved virtually no temporary works, ensuring that
the area beneath the structure remained clear of obstructions during construction and did not disrupt commuters. Most elements were preassembled offsite, including the project’s steelwork, glazing, cladding, fixtures and fittings.

The project also overcame significant complexities, including heritage interfaces that date to 1906, existing structures that needed to be adapted and assessed, sustainability requirements and ensuring that the structure was suitable for post-disaster recovery.

Keeping commuters safe and undisrupted during construction lay at the heart of Chernyavsky’s ingenuity.

As package leader, his out-of-the-box-thinking resulted in almost no temporary works and minimal work at heights to ensure that Sydney’s busiest railway station remained functional and safe while extensive works took place within the live environment.

His design decisions balanced safety, constructability, aesthetics, and alignments to existing platforms, and respected and enhanced the heritage, minimising disruption, durability, sustainability, maintenance, risk, robustness and cost.

Judges’ comments:

“This projects is distinguished by the number of constraints involved, not least of which was the requirement to keep Central Station open to the public.

“This made project management a particularly complex task. It also scores highly on environmental benefits and benefits to the community.”

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