After a competitive pitch, Melbourne creative agency Sense has been appointed to oversee the branding, marketing and launch of the mixed use development site in Coburg formally known as Pentridge Prison.
Pentridge has been ripe for development since it ceased operations as a prison in 1996, but successive re-development attempts have failed to come to grips with the magnitude of the job, the history of the place and the huge opportunity it represents.
The Shayher Group acquired the site with an ambitious vision to create a vibrant urban hub comprising new residential apartments, commercial, retail and entertainment destinations as well as expansive public and community spaces.
“Pentridge is iconic,” explained Sense director David Whiteside. “The name is etched in our collective memory. It’s rare to work on a project with such strong recall.”
When asked if the site’s former identity as a prison posed a marketing problem, Whiteside was pragmatic. “It stopped being a prison nearly twenty years ago. We’re focussed on the future. Our task is to create a positive new chapter for the site while embracing its one-hundred and fifty years of history, and the mind-blowing fact that Pentridge will stand as a vital part of Melbourne’s landscape forever. Landmark status on such a grand scale will make it an appealing place to live, work and visit.”
The historic buildings are truly beautiful and intrinsically intertwined with of Melbourne’s past. The challenge will be to retain that historical integrity while creating desirable living spaces and public amenities, but the Shayher Group is committed to doing so.
“Pentridge was originally the name of the suburb. It was renamed Coburg in 1870 because the local community didn’t want to be associated with the prison. We’ve interviewed several local residents, and we know that they’re looking forward to reclaiming Pentridge as the bustling heart of Coburg.
“We’re delighted to be able to help bring such an iconic site back to life. There are very few opportunities to work on a landmark project of this scale, especially one with such a rich and colourful history.”
Sense will commence work on the visual identity immediately.