Penguin Parade Visitor Centre Wayfinding and Exterior Signage, Phillip Island, Victoria


Project Commenced: July 2018
Project Completed: April 2020
Floor Area: 1798 m²

Thylacine’s role

  • wayfinding design
  • exterior signage design
  • interpretive design
  • graphic design
  • media design
  • lighting design


DNA Paris Design Awards 2021
Winner Interior / Civic Buildings

Australian Interior Design Award 2021
Shortlist Installation Design

Dezeen Awards 2021
Longlist Exhibition Design

The Phillip Island Penguin Parade is a Victorian tourism icon, and alongside the new visitor centre, distinctive and functional wayfinding was required to guide large groups of visitors to and from their encounter with the Little Penguins. The sculptural, folded form addresses the needs of multi-directional wayfinding as well as sitting at different heights for visibility across the undulating landscape. The design of the form of the signs reflects the need for the external signs to meet extreme environmental conditions as well as responding to the geometry of the building. These structurally sound, dynamic signs were designed to be cut and folded from a single sheet of mild steel.

The outdoor wayfinding signs are recognisable in the landscape in darkness (when visitors leave after the dusk parade of penguins has concluded) using colours that take cues from the natural landscape and the client’s brand palette. By using recognisable area colours and numbering for carpark zones and distinct integrated iconography, the signs are accessible and intuitive, crossing any language barriers for local and international visitors alike.

A Welcome to Country installation highlights the rich heritage of custodianship by the Bunurong people, who have cared for this site over thousands of years. As visitors approach the Centre, the Welcome to Country invites them to recognise this connection, incorporating words of welcome in the Bunurong language and asking visitors to take care of this place also. Here, visitors have the opportunity to divert from the main pathway towards the Caring for Country Circle, a meeting place with a focus on the First Nations people of Phillip Island.

Client Phillip Island Nature Parks. Project partners Terroir, media designers Mental Media, lighting designer Benjamin Cisterne, graphic designer Gemma Field, Tract and Kane Constructions.

Photography by Peter Bennetts and Gemma Field.