Laminex decorative surfaces were innovatively used in a recent project that aimed to create fresh, new spaces within a heritage listed building while retaining its history.

The Pentridge Jail, one of Victoria’s most infamous buildings, recently had its old cells repurposed into wine cellars. Mary Maksemos from Claytons Group was tasked with the job of designing wine cellar fitouts that both optimised the limited 2.8 x 1.9m space, and provided a variety of storage options to hold private wine collections.

The brief was guided by strict regulations enforced by the heritage listed status of Pentridge; Claytons was required to produce a freestanding fitout to protect the existing bluestone structure.

Maksemos delivered an inspired concept by delving into the pasts of three of the more infamous inmates, and endeavoured to tell their story through simple and innovative design. The three designs tell the stories of Ned Kelly with a bushmen inspired aesthetic; Ronald Ryan with a 60s inspired elegant interior; and Squizzy, with an opulent snapshot of 20s glitz and glamour.

Maksemos chose the versatile and wide Laminex range of decorative surface options as she was confident it would help her execute the vision of the project and safeguard its longevity.

Maksemos explained that the Laminex product portfolio was well suited to the project, especially the Impressions range, which provided the versatility of laminate with a timber look and feel.

Ned Kelly

Holding over 900 bottles, the ‘Ned’ cellar incorporates a weld mesh wine rack and Laminex Impressions in Seasoned Oak (Riven Finish) and Laminex Baye (Natural Finish) to achieve the look and feel of raw bleached timber. It is a simple yet dramatic design that pays homage to the time of bushmen, campfires and billy tea.

Ronald Ryan

Ronald Ryan, the last man to be executed in Australia, was known for his style and ever present fedora. The aesthetic embodies the 50s/60s trend of tall wine cabinets and boasts the look of a floor-to-ceiling, old English bookcase. To achieve this look, Maksemos turned to Laminex Impressions in Avignon Walnut (Riven Finish) and Laminex Pumice (Natural Finish).


Joseph Leslie Theodore Taylor 'Squizzy' was a colourful and notorious Australian crime figure, known for his loud dressing style. The design taps into the 20s charm and opulence with Maksemos using contrasting light and dark hues to make a stylish statement. This fitout features Laminex Impressions in Domain (Riven Finish) and Laminex Alabaster (Natural Finish).

Laminex Marketing Manager, Joanna Baker said this unique project reflected the quality and versatility of Laminex decorative surfaces.

According to Baker, Claytons Group has creatively integrated products from the Laminex Impressions textured surfaces and Laminex Colour Palette ranges to create a truly exceptional space in which wine lovers can appreciate and celebrate a unique part of Australian history.