Christmas is a time of year when, for many, pharmacies seem particularly important. Most are closed during the holiday period, of course, leading to that entirely avoidable mad search around the city to find a medicine that will help to banish the immediate symptoms of over-indulgence.
Promising to stock-up on chalk tablets before the holiday, reminded me of the De Lairesse pharmacy in Amsterdam, designed by Concrete. It dates from 2002, and in itself, seems capable of relieving indigestion… for architects and designers at least!
The retail end of the shop is a round space circumscribed with green, transparent perspex shelves that contain the products in 522 drawers. The shelving, or drugs cabinet, as this space is conceived, is illuminated with green lights, but there is a white translucent ceiling that acts as a single light source. It helps to differentiate customers that are sick, from those simply shopping for foot powder!
Behind the shelves is an info wall and work areas that can be glimpsed from the shop. They are white and clinical. Oh yes! There is a tree trunk “growing” through the space from a floor printed with leaves and covered with resin. It conceals a column that holds-up the circular counter, as well as reminding observers that most drugs come from plants.
If you do not live in Amsterdam, stock-up on indigestion pills, as your local chemist is unlikely to be as refreshing to your spirit as this one!