PlusLife, Midland

Health and aged care

  • Project

    Production facility and laboratories for the receipt, storage, processing and dispatch of bone and tissue grafts

  • Services

    Full service architecture and interior design

  • Location

    Midland, WA

  • Client


  • Date


PlusLife is a not-for-profit organisation that collects, screens, stores and distributes donated human bone and tissue grafts for use in surgical procedures.

Cameron Chisholm Nicol was engaged to design a new production facility in Midland for PlusLife, housing two tissue processing clean rooms, freezer storage, a tissue testing lab and a dedicated research laboratory. The brief was to link the new facility to the adjacent heritage Railway Institute, which would accommodate the administration staff. A group of existing electrical substations on site had to be accommodated in the master planning.

The new building is a contemporary architectural response to the functional, physical and historical context. Echoing the rectilinear bulk and height of the Railway Institute, it shares the same central axis and is carefully located to maintain sightlines to all four corners of the heritage building.

The buildings are linked via a central structure which mediates between the old and new components, and houses a reception lobby, lift and internal stair. Metal cladding provides a strong contrast to the face brick of the heritage building. This juxtaposition draws cues from the dominant vernacular materials palette of brick and steel.

The facility was designed to comply with the rigorous licensing requirements of the Therapeutic Goods Administration (TGA).  Cameron Chisholm Nicol was supported by specialist clean room consultant, Asia Pacific Consultants (APC), who were responsible for the design and documentation of the internal clean room areas. An accessible ceiling void minimises the need for maintenance staff to access the controlled environments.

The functional and operational requirements of the production facility require considerable operational energy. PV panels on the roof will make a significant contribution to energy generation.  Despite constraints, the project team worked collaboratively to achieve a 4 star Green Star Design and As Built equivalency.

Artist Anne Neil was commissioned to create a public artwork, which references microscopic bone imagery used in the tissue bank via perforations on the metal-clad façade.

The PlusLife project is a contemporary architectural response which successfully meets the client’s highly specific requirements on a relatively modest budget. Appropriately scaled, and consistent with the intended character for the precinct, it makes a quality contribution to the streetscape.

The PlusLife Board has praised the design of the facility, citing it as the best bone processing clean rooms and laboratories in Australasia, and amongst the best in the world.

If you are interested in finding out about donating life-saving blood and tissue, visit the PlusLife website.