One pharmacy’s retail experience focuses on healing rather than illness

Date: February 02, 2020
By: William Lee and Shonquis Moreno
William Georgi and Shonquis Moreno photos Ku9omin Lee

TAICHUNG, TAIWAN – In a reification of well-being and a tribute to nature, Taipei City-based Waterfrom, looked to the object of pharmaceutics – extracting and combining certain molecules in order to synthesise curative drugs – to develop the design concept of this 120-sq-m pharmacy.

A two-floor copper spiral staircase, recalling the double helix of a DNA strand, was installed as a way to link the three types of transactions occurring at Molecure: drug display, experimentation with dispensing methods and human interactions that foster well-being. The fact that making drugs involves ‘molecular aggregation’ inspired the designers to clad the pharmacy’s double-height walls with cobblestones and cement, creating a rough texture that lends a sense of solid reality to an almost ethereal space.

Top: A third-generation pharmacist asked Waterfrom to subvert the stereotypical pharmacy. At the heart of the space, the trunk of a 100-year-old tree and hanging foliage surround a wooden laboratory table where pharmacists engage more fully with customers.| Middle: Clear floor-to-ceiling acrylic shelves display drugs as if each were a costly beauty product. | Bottom: Natural materials and light suffuse the space, bespeaking well-being and saluting nature. The process of ‘molecular aggregation' suggested the look of the stone walls: triangular holes (molecules) are laser-cut in the stairs to create shadows that fall like leaves.

What is more, the designers avoided the typical pharmacy counter, where service flows in one direction, by making the heart of the space a laboratory table where pharmacists can engage more fully with customers. Together with the open dispensing area and an iPad-integrated consulting service, an unusual degree of human interaction takes place in a light and air-filled space, re-framing the pharmacy experience as one that is about healing instead of illness.   [FULL  STORY]

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