VILA REAL – The abstract design of this pharmacy is anchored in the absence of external references and the wish to ‘clean up’ the typical drugstore model. Sitting in a corner plot in the suburbs of Vila Real, a town in the north of Portugal, Farmácia Lordelo seems to filter the disorder of its surroundings through the corrugated and aluminium façade that envelops it. Its thoroughly neat and vibrantly white interiors contrast not only with the neighbouring chaos, but also with the archetypal image of pharmacies.

Yet, it is the grey exterior that lends the pharmacy its spark. The pale green light of the bold cross symbol incorporated into the façade changes to a vivacious green at night, and so does the sculptural cross that rises in front of the main entrance. As the architects of the Portuguese studio José Carlos Cruz - Arquitecto put it, ‘by changing the light of the interior and of the symbol of pharmacy itself, the building gains dynamics, allowing its image to change from day to night.’

The entrance to the sales area is the building’s only direct opening to the outside, which serves to reinforce the design’s neutral character. The pharmacy’s 522-sq-m are divided into two floors and include a sales area and a compounding laboratory.

Images courtesy of FG+SG