Molecure pharmacy design subverts tradition

Using greenery, glass shelves and copper details, Taiwan design studio Waterfrom has subverted the stereotype of clinical pharmacies for Molecure in Taichung.

With its airy interior, the 120 sqm space features a central lab table that dispenses with traditional counter service and encourages a more natural interaction between pharmacists and customers, reports Dezeen. The solid-wood table is supported by the trunk of a 100-year-old tree, and includes a glass section housing moss and plants.


Overhead, copper lights hang amid more green plants that have been suspended to create a “forest”, and the space includes several other lab-style benches and tables.

Traditional brown bottles are displayed on glass shelves covering the walls of the drugstore, which has been owned by three generations of the same family. There are also test tubes in copper racks, with lab equipment alongside pot plants.


“Just like Molecure is split and reorganised from the words ‘molecule’ and ‘cure’, while approaching the design we returned to the original purpose of the pharmacy – extracting molecules from nature to synthesise healing drugs,” says Waterfrom.


To further differentiate from the usual pharmacy appearance, Waterfrom covered the store’s walls in cobblestones and installed a copper spiral staircase, referencing the spiral structure of DNA.

On the upper floor, a lasercut perforated pattern of tessellating triangles casts leaf-like shadows, and colour is provided by bright panels on glass shelves.

Set up in 2008, Waterfrom has offices in both China and Taiwan. The award-winning studio works across interior design and architecture.


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