TFE previews Melbourne prison conversion project

TFE Hotels has given a sneak peek at the ongoing work to convert Melbourne, Australia’s historic Pentridge Prison site into a mixed use development incorporating an Adina Apartment Hotels site.

The one-billion-dollar transformation into a dining and entertainment precinct will house the 106-room Adina Apartment Hotel Pentridge Melbourne.

Contemporary design

TFE Hotels’ contemporary new aparthotel has been deliberately designed to contrast and complement the 170-year-old heritage site-turned-modern-lifestyle-precinct, which is being developed by Shayher Group.

Officially launching in autumn, the site’s one and two-bedroom and studio apartments will offer generous living spaces and kitchen amenities and will boast individual climate control and balconies.

Historic challenges

Building a contemporary hotel on an historic site (adjacent to the former B Division) presented a unique set of challenges. The contemporary Adina tower took almost two years to construct with builders carefully monitoring Pentridge’s bluestone walls to ensure they were stable as the three-level basement was built. 

The hotel features built-in solar panels, the use of recycled concrete in the build, and a rainwater tank recycling system. The additional use of specialty high-tech glass that reacts with daylight to break down dirt, means the facade only needs cleaning every 12 to 24 months. There are also EV charging stations in the basement.

Precinct transformation

Within the development there will be the North & Common restaurant – with Melbourne chef, Thomas Woods, at the helm – and Olivine wine bar, featuring bluestone interiors, providing a space for hotel guests, locals, and visitors when they open in autumn.

TFE’s group chief operating officer, Chris Sedgwick, said: “Right now, the finishing touches are being put on Olivine wine bar, North & Common bistro, and nine bespoke conferencing and events venues, collectively known as Chapter Place which, as a collective, will be transformative for the wider Pentridge lifestyle precinct when they open in May.”

Added interlude

Also onsite will be a 19-room, experience-led urban retreat, The Interlude, opening in May 2023. Sedgwick added: “The Interlude is an urban retreat-style experience, the likes of which has never-before-been-seen in Australia, and one of only a handful of prison hotel conversions in the world. Guests will stay in converted-cell suites which have been transformed by modern design and architecture into calming spaces. 

“And, when they’re not in their room, they’ll be able to immerse themselves in the flavours, colours, and stories of Coburg’s creative arts community through curated programs, or self-guided visits to the precinct’s onsite art gallery which displays resident and emerging local artists.”

Adinas elsewhere

Other Adina-branded projects currently underway in Australia include the 105-key A by Adina Melbourne Docklands alongside the 200-key Collection by TFE Hotels Melbourne Docklands, forming a two tower development which is due to deliver in Q3 2026. Plus in Western Australia, Adina Apartment Hotel Fremantle Perth will add 142 rooms to the portfolio in Q3 2024.

Over in Europe, the 140-key Adina Apartment Hotel Geneva will arrive in the Swiss capital during Q2 this year, while Adina Vienna Danube is planned to occupy three floors of the newbuild Danubeflats tower in the Austrian capital city, delivering 108 keys in Q1 2025.