In Japan, it is not only the elderly who use Chinese herbal medicine – kampo in Japanese – to strengthen their bodies. Japanese women in their 30s are also showing an interest in enhancing their physical wellbeing ‘the natural way’. For one physician in Aichi Prefecture, Satoshi Sakakibara, this growing enthusiasm was reason enough for a radical change in his practice. Saying a resolute farewell to his former herbal-medicine store, Dr Sakakibara now operates a modern ‘treatment lounge’, where he specializes in kampo. Japanese design team Id Inc. was responsible for the interior of the Sumiyoshido Kampo Lounge Clinic, which includes a retail space for herbal medicines and a clinic for acupuncture and moxibustion. Cabinets in the retail section evoke memories of old-fashioned Japanese pharmacies. Everything here – cabinets, counters, seating and light fixtures – has a mint-green hue, which Id Inc. cofounder Seiji Oguri says ‘provides a soft impression, like that in a relaxing spa’. The white treatment area adjacent to the store is quiet, ‘so the client can focus on his treatment’, which Oguri describes as ‘very delicate’. The ensemble combines a sense of solidity with a pleasantly light atmosphere. Walls in the retail area feature drawers, some of which are open and used as small display shelves: the designers’ strategy for relating the story they wanted to tell. According to Oguri, the project embodies his agency’s design philosophy.
Photos courtesy of Id Inc.