Minderoo Centre – Plastics and Human Health | m3architecture

Minderoo Centre – Plastics and Human Health | m3architecture | Photographer: UQ Photography

2023 National Architecture Awards Program

Minderoo Centre – Plastics and Human Health | m3architecture

Traditional Land Owners
Turrbal and Jagera peoples




Interior Architecture
Small Project Architecture
Fitout and Refurbishment Australia (FARA)
UQ Photography
Project summary

Minderoo Centre – Plastics and Human Health, although small, is a highly technical research facility which has the potential to have a profound effect on the kinds of materials we use in our daily lives. To minimise the use of materials with any plastic content, and meet laboratory codes, the project clads; floors, walls and ceilings in a combination of stainless steel and molten metals whilst also finding strategies to deal with safe slip resistant walking surfaces, acoustics (in an environment of 100% hard surfaces) and achieving high levels of research laboratory cleanliness by sealing all joints (without using traditional sealants) whilst simultaneously dealing with the expansion and contraction of materials.

Benchmarked against the only other known facilities in the world, this project has less contaminants.

Queensland Architecture Awards Accolades
Award for Small Project Architecture
Queensland Jury Citation

The Minderoo Centre demonstrates the skill of the architect in researching and delivering for technically complex project requirements. This project is not about beauty; it’s about process, knowledge, and capability, and the architect has harnessed all of these to dig deep and meet functional scientific requirements for a nanoplastic and human health laboratory that is free of plastics and other contaminants.

The ability of the architect to go ‘back to basics’ and test every element of the design and construction, from floor to walls to ceilings to equipment, in order to remove all plastic shows a commitment to the demands of a tenacious brief for a unique and world-leading research facility. 

“there are very labs in the world that are capable of measuring plastic chemicals and plastic particles down to the very low levels that we need to, parts per billion, and down to the specificity we need for being able to say what sort of plastic is in our bodies. We are looking for something the size of a tennis ball between here and 100 kilometres away”

Professor Sarah Dunlop
Director, Plastics and Human Health, Mindaroo Foundation.
The University of Queensland.

Project Practice Team

Michael Christensen, Project Architect
Valentina Ponomariova, Graduate of Architecture

Project Consultant and Construction Team

Cardno, Structural Engineer
Hawkins Jenkins Ross, Electrical Consultant
Hawkins Jenkins Ross, Hazard Assessment
Hawkins Jenkins Ross, Wet Fire Engineer
Knisco, Building Certifier
Plumbing Design and Drafting, Hydraulic Consultant
Steele Wrobel, Quantity Surveyor
UQ Photography, Photographer

Connect with m3architecture
Minderoo Centre – Plastics and Human Health | m3architecture | Photographer: UQ Photography

This form is now closed.