Pentridge Coburg: an Iconic Landmark for a New Generation

17th November, 2021

On the site of one of Melbourne’s most notorious, maximum-security prisons, Pentridge in Coburg, a vibrant new residential and lifestyle precinct is taking shape.

Upon its closure in 1997, plans were created to revitalise and reclaim the site, making it an active part of the community once again.

After undergoing various stages of regeneration, the site was acquired by Shayher Group. Their initial plans included two new residential buildings to complement the shopping centre and cinema, which they had already added to the precinct.

We’re thrilled to share that our work on Pentridge Coburg is award-winning, having picked up Silver for Marketing – Branded Experience at the DrivenxDesign 2021 Melbourne Design Awards.

The brief

Shayher Group wanted to launch their two separate residential buildings at the same time, each targeting a different market with a unique sales strategy.

One building was an apartment tower with smaller, investment-grade stock that they were planning on taking offshore and selling into Asia through channel marketing. The other building was more boutique, with larger apartments that were targeting local owner occupiers, likely downsizers.

There was a third agenda as well: to refresh the narrative around the Pentridge precinct in general, now that the shopping centre and cinema complex were complete.

All items needed to occur at the same time, and while they wanted each apartment building to feel individual, they still needed to feel part of the same family.

Overcoming challenges

The biggest challenge we encountered in this process was ensuring all our brands felt unique, yet still at home in the one precinct.

We created an overarching brand called “Life. At Pentridge” which was used to convey the lifestyle available within the precinct as a whole. It used the original Pentridge look and feel that had been established years earlier, but was modernised to reflect the current state of the precinct.

For the buildings, we investigated completely different designs that still felt complementary to one another. The Rook became a heritage green with copper, while Victoria Tower was a rich red with blue and gold accents. Based on colour alone, the brands still felt detached, so we sought to link them through more subtle means. The buildings’ names were inspired by the heritage of the site, and each logo features a variation on a crown motif, again harking back to the history of Her Majesty’s prison.

These subtle links ensured the brands felt connected, while still maintaining their own distinct aesthetic. It meant we could vary our tone of voice and messaging to target specific demographics without compromising on cohesion.

The need for flexibility

Working on three brands at the same time was tricky enough, but needing to be able to change the way in which they interacted, or didn’t interact, was another challenge altogether.

Sometimes we wanted to tell a precinct story and then connect to The Rook product, but other times we needed to segue to the Victoria Tower narrative.

We therefore approached the design of certain collateral in very different ways. For the print collateral, we created 3 separate brochures and an outer folder. This allowed the sales agent in the display suite to curate a specific pack for the purchaser tailored to their needs.

As it was unlikely that people would get both The Rook and Victoria Tower brochures, we were able to share content between them (lifestyle and location images, amenity renders etc), ensuring we kept costs manageable.

In our display suite, we designed a layout that was compelling, with a clear sales journey, but could also be easily updated to change from one release to another without much time, effort or cost.

Our entire approach was built around maximising the value for money for our client and allowing them to nimbly meet the needs to the market, which can change in an instant.

The results

The Rook building is sold out and did so in excellent time. A combination of great product, engaging branding and a clear sales funnel meant that we were able to effectively convert leads into sales.

Victoria Tower enjoyed moderate success overseas, however, the pandemic did lessen its initial impact. Due to this, the building was given a local launch as well and we have seen solid results to date.

In fact, results have been so strong that we are now working on a new building release, which will be a split between residential apartments and a 5-star hotel. We look forward to sharing this project with you once it launches.

If you have an upcoming project that you would like to discuss, don’t hesitate to get in touch. You can contact our Creative Director, Lars Weisenberger, on 0447 133 022 or at