Greek studio KLab Architecture created
this pharmacy in Athens by wrapping a round facade punctured by Braille
lettering over the existing octagonal building, with plants occupying the
space in between.
The two levels of the Placebo Pharmacy are linked by a long ramp that
curls round one side of the circular plan.
A shop and dispensing chemist are housed on the ground floor with offices
and a surgery for visiting practitioners above.
Bespoke display cabinets in the shop downstairs radiate outwards from a
central cash desk.
More about KLab Architecture on
Photographs are by P. Kokkinias.
The information below is from the designers:
The design process for this large (600m2) super-local pharmacy forced us
to shift our viewpoint and come up with a virtual building—a placebo
pharmacy. The octagonal shape of the existing structure was re-formed into a
cylinder in order to create a spiral which seeks to converse with the rapid
motion on Vouliagmenis Avenue, the urban artery on which the building
The panels of the façade are perforated using Braille, which both alludes
to the system’s use on pharmaceutical packaging and boosts visibility by
allowing the light to find its way into the interior. The new facade also
protects the interior while acting as a lure for passers-by. Inside, the
product display mirrors the circular frontage, while a ramp up to the upper
level extends the dynamism of the exterior spiral into the interior space.
The Pharmacy is arranged over two floors, the ground floor being the
primary shop space with the upper mezzanine floor consisting of ancillary
office space used as a temporary surgery for visiting health professionals.
The pharmacy is arranged in plan in a radial pattern with the main
cashiers desk acting as the focal point. The product displays fan out from
this focal point giving the cashier the ability to view the whole pharmacy
from this central area. The drug dispensary, preparation areas and toilets
are also arranged off this radial pattern. This pattern gives a natural flow
to the space and allows light deep into the center of the plan at all times
throughout the day.
Principal architect: Konstantinos Labrinopoulos
Façade artistic implementation: Xara Marantidou
Design team: Enrique Ramirez, Mark Chapman, Kostis Anagnostakis
Images credit: P. Kokkinias