Pharmacies are often overwhelming — it can be next to impossible to contain such a vast amount of disparate products in a way that doesn’t read as clinical, cluttered and claustrophobic. But in the Pharmacie Uniprix Kieu Truong, a Montreal chemist’s shop designed by Jean de Lessard, a sense of visual calm permeates. And it’s thanks to an interior that encourages easy navigation and an open, accessible relationship to the pharmacist.
Off the bat, the fresh white walls and ceiling establish a cheerful, bright space. Intentionally kept clear of advertising posters, the perimeter walls make a clean backdrop for uniform rows of pastel display furniture. Grouped together in subdued colour blocks, the low-slung counters and rounded-top shelving units were made by local cabinet-maker Héritage, and the symmetrical arrangement draws the eye to the north end of the store, where the main laboratory sits. A series of semi-circular counters in powder blue creates a meandering path to the dispensary itself, a circular counter complete with a stainless steel-clad “pillbox.”
The steel and blue palette here is not incidental; in Feng Shui, the north is synonymous with elements of water and metal. Flooding the shop with positive ch’i energy, a wall of floor-to-ceiling windows lets in ample natural light. It also reflects off the polished steel pillbox to soften the edge of the hard material. A wall covered in yellow fabric adds a tactile touch as it conceals the magistral medicine side room. The overall result is one of cleanliness without sterility, and a relaxed attitude that takes a more personal approach to the relationship between pharmacist and client.