The design process for this large (600m2) supralocal pharmacy forced us to shift our viewpoint and come up with a virtual building—a placebo pharmacy. The octagonal shape of the existing structure was re-formed into a cylinder in order to create a spiral which seeks to converse with the rapid motion on Vouliagmenis Avenue, the urban artery on which the building stands. The panels of the façade are perforated using Braille, which both alludes to the system’s use on pharmaceutical packaging and boosts visibility by allowing the light to find its way into the interior. The new facade also protects the interior while acting as a lure for passers-by. The changes of the natural light coming through the Braille holes inside the store are inevitably playful according to the sun route.
Inside, the product display mirrors the circular frontage, while a ramp up to the upper level extends the dynamism of the exterior spiral into the interior space.
The concept was to create a pharmacy that is not per say 'a pharmacy,' but rather a unique environment that inspires. It represents a pharmacy for healthy people who believe in prevention opposed to the aftermath process of curing and treating.
The shelving units, also designed by Klab Architects, act simultainously as dividers for the open floorplan, natrually creating aisles. The form of the 'furniture', (shelving units), resemble the shape of a leaf or petal made of white lacquered MDF, which are internally illuminated. The idea behind the way the products are presented on the shelving units, follow the norms of a museum. Each item is exhibited and considered 'sacred.'
The 'real' pharmacy lies behind a stainless steel counter where the drugs are located within a wall of stainless steel drawers. The materiality Klab employs for this project, is chosen delibriately to provoke a laboratory ambience, which in essense generates a feel for an existing natural environment. These all contributed to the idea that nature co-exists with technology innovation to create pharmaceutical and cosmetic products. As a response to that, KLab exposed a tech-nature environment; essentially a lab within the nature - within the city.
The floor fabricated by white epoxy resin, initiats an uniformity of the layout, whereby on the first floor, cut- outs in natural forms are curved inside the wall inorder to illuminate the pharmacy with the use of RGB LED lighting.
The Pharmacy is composed of two floors, the ground floor and the upper mezzanine level. The ground floor exists as the main shopping area of the pharmacy, while the upper mezzanine floor, consists of additional office space as well as a communial, multifunctonal area, where events can be held. The partitions separating the different rooms for different uses are made of green transparent glass. One can view the below level by looking down from the exisiting exterior corridor onto the monumental ramp leading to the ground level.
The floorplan of the pharmacy follows a radial pattern with the main cashiers desk acting as the focal point. The shelving units are arranged in such a manner that they seem to fan out from the focal point presenting the cashier with the ability to view the whole pharmacy from it's central position. The drug dispensary, the preparational areas and the toilets are also arranged according to this radial pattern. The pattern provides the space with a natural flow of circulation while simultaneously allowing light to move towards the center of the floorplan throughout the entire day.
Location: Vouliagmeni Av., Glyfada, Athens, Greece
Built Area: 600m²