I don’t know about you, but whenever I think about pharmacies I picture a bland white space, filled to the brim with shelves that are crammed with all manner of medicinal paraphernalia. It’s unfriendly, and a little daunting to say the least. Not exactly what you want when you’re ill and in search of healing. It’s clear that a wholesale re-branding of the pharmacy concept is long overdue.
Enter Medly Pharmacy – a new boutique Brooklyn drugstore which functions as the physical counterpart of Medly’s prescription mobile app. With a cool and contemporary minimalist interior designed by Sergio Mannino Studio, let’s just say this ain’t your average drugstore. Scroll down for a closer look.
“In a city of more than 8.5 million people, it’s no surprise that the simple act of visiting a pharmacy is often an impersonal experience. Because there’s one on every corner, it is incredibly convenient – but chances are, you won’t know who’s serving you. Medly Pharmacy aims to remedy this through a slightly different approach.”
What Makes Medly Pharmacy Different?
The brainchild of Marg and Sahaj Patel, Medly is a healthcare start-up aimed at creating a more efficient way to order and collect prescriptions. When it comes to the physical Medly Pharmacy, this translates to creating a warm and welcoming space for customers to feel at ease when visiting their local neighborhood drugstore.
With Medly Pharmacy, Marg and Sahaj wanted it to be all about community, and this is reflected in the design of the space. For instance, unlike regular pharmacies which inadvertently separate people through their high aisles and sheer size, Medly Pharmacy customers collect their prescriptions from a comfortably-sized waiting room – its smaller size naturally encouraging interaction between customers and staff. Medly Pharmacy’s curated range of drug products is designed to work to similar effect, whilst also streamlining the pharmacy experience.
What Were the Design Inspirations behind This Space?
In terms of aesthetics, designer Sergio Mannino explains that, rather unusually, he had no design inspiration for this interior. “We worked in the exact opposite way as we wanted to design something that you have never seen before. It had to look completely different than any other pharmacy you see in New York.”
The result is an overall clean and elegant minimalist look with just a hint of whimsy. A buffed custom concrete counter with a subtle green gradient dominates the waiting room. It’s complemented by playful geometric floor tiles and an industrial corrugated statement wall.
“The most interesting design element is the concrete counter. We built a wood mold shaped like the counter and then we poured white concrete mixed with a special green dye. We used a lot more dye on the bottom and then gradually reduced it while going up. The effect is almost random as you don’t really know exactly how it will look like until you open the casing.”
Two large vinyl leather and chrome benches occupy the bulk of the space. The benches can occupy up to four people each and are arranged to facilitate conversations between customers.
Talk to Me about the Color Scheme
The color scheme for this interior primarily takes it cue from Medly’s green and white branding. “Green is a color that has a positive message,” explains Sergio. “It helps treat anxiety and nervousness; it also conveys a strong feeling of trust and safety. Aqua in particular embodies a sense of healing.”
So, Is This the Pharmacy of the Future?
Well yes and no according to Sergio. “The combination of online and physical presence is definitely the future for pharmacies and all brands in general,” the designer explains. Nevertheless, he notes that “each brand should have its own extremely defined aesthetic.”
For me, I think that as beautiful design becomes more and more a basic requirement of public spaces rather than a perceived luxury, we can expect to see an increasing number of retail pharmacies taking inspiration from Medly’s concept store. After all, even if being ill is as far away from indulgence as you can get, why should that have to impact the retail pharmacy experience?