Want to break the barrier with the pharmacist? Serve customers at the table

What looks like a large minimalist shoe box floating in the dark is, in fact, a pharmacy in Himeji, Japan. Inspired by the interiors of high-tech medical facilities in sci-fi movies, architect Tetsuya Matsumoto provided his client – owner and director of a large hospital nearby – with a high-end dispensary that puts a new spin on administering medication.

The architect proposed a system that sees pharmacists serve seated customers, much like waiters in a restaurant. The personalized hospitality-based approach brings both parties to the same level.

Cutting-edge futurism seemingly has its place in pharmacy design

Because the entrance faces a busy street, Matsumoto emphasized the contrast between inside and outside. Sitting incongruously next to the dirty traffic-filled thoroughfare, the pharmacy not only stands out – particularly at night, when it shines like a lantern – but invites customers into a slick interior that exudes calmness and order. The designer removed almost all vertical elements from the façade and framed the bright space inside to attract passers-by.

‘The keyword in medical facilities is “healing”, which is commonly associated with natural elements,’ said Matsumoto. ‘Customers, however, often give credence to artificial high-tech things. Cutting-edge futurism, therefore, seemingly has its place in pharmacy design.’


This piece was originally featured on Frame 116. You can purchase a copy here.

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Frame 116

The May/June issue of Frame is a special one, as we celebrate our 20th anniversary. We present 20 designers and brands – from household names to emerging talents – that we expect to lead the way in spatial design in years to come. We showcase 20 interior projects that represent 20 strategies for designing spaces, and go beyond the conventional scope of design to find 20 visions that frame the future.

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