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Canberra Plasma Centre sets benchmark for donor centre design

With Australia’s medical advancements and aging population, the increased demand for plasma is growing each year. The Australian Red Cross Blood Service (ARCBS) is pioneering voluntary plasma collection in Australia.

Following GWA’s design for the first plasma centre in the Southern Hemisphere located in Queensland, the second Australian Red Cross Plasma Donor Centre in Canberra sets the benchmark for plasma donor centres with its connection to nature and sense of community at its heart. Equipped with the latest technologies and stream-lined processes, entertainment and design enhancements create an altogether better donation experience.

Averting from a clinical aesthetic, donors experience the ‘journey of giving and receiving within the community’ in the space, appealing to the senses, offering opportunities for reinvigoration, either in solitude or communally. This experience is achieved without any perception of extravagance or luxury, consistent with the spirit of the Australian Red Cross charity.

The hospitality zone is warm and inviting, linking the welcome area, relaxation lounge, and refreshments kitchen all in one open plan space. It emulates the appearance of a co-working space, allowing donors to roam freely with defined areas for specific activities. The natural light, green walls and mobile planter boxes create a connection to the outside and a calm environment.

In the relaxation lounge donors can sit comfortably and engage in an activity before or after being called to donation. They are invited to sit and read, view digital content, or socialise with other donors.

project Australian Red Cross GWA Architecture fitout design blood donor centre plasma canberra
Canberra Plasma Centre, designed by GWA, photo by Murray Harris

The ‘Story Wall’ is a flexible community display space for donor and recipient stories and other ARCBS activities and history.

The collection floor is where plasma donations are taken and caters for both individual and social-group experiences. The open plan, hygienic yet tranquil space adopts the characteristics of a relaxation spa. Its visibility from the street encourages greater community connection and more people to donate.

Glimpses of the collection floor from the hospitality zone through a large aquarium make the journey through the donation experience immediately obvious, reassuring new donors who are unfamiliar with the process. The aquarium also provides visual separation for donors and clear lines of sight for management and nurses. The connection to nature and sensory experience of the space is calming and soothing to assist in alleviating any anxiety associated with donation.

Australian Red Cross GWA Architecture fitout design blood donor centre plasma canberra
Canberra Plasma Centre, designed by GWA, photo by Murray Harris

Read more about donating plasma on the Australian Red Cross Blood Service website.