Sant’Andrea pharmacy

LocationVicenza, Italy
ApplicationPaths and steps
Projectarch. Paolo Omodei Salé
PhotoTommy Ilai

A former petrol station has become the home of a pharmacy established in the 1970s and present in the same neighbourhood for over 50 years. The Sant’Andrea pharmacy proposes a new concept for a pharmacy. This is not only a shop where you can buy medicines, and herbal and homoeopathic preparations, but also a centre for personalised services, with areas set aside for trying out body- and skin-care products; health, sport, diet and wellness options; and free maternity advice sessions.

This objective of providing an integrated experience, tailored to the customers’ needs, completely transformed the design, and spurred the architect, Paolo Omodei Salé of Omodei Studio, to turn the aseptic and notoriously cold world of pharmaceuticals into a warm and welcoming environment. One way he did this was to use natural materials such as wood together with some of the antique furnishings from the previous premises, including furniture and albarelli (the old medicinal jars designed to hold apothecaries’ ointments and dry ingredients). He also did away with pillars, to create a large, open, airy square without a predefined, constrictive pathway that would set rigid boundaries between staff and customers.

On the ceiling, above the display gondolas, an enormous coffered ceiling was created and has become the pharmacy’s distinguishing feature. Its composition of paintings and prints depicting medicinal plants is the work of Caterina Romio from the No.parking design agency. Between the ceiling panels, Bitpop 2.2 recessed fixtures with a high colour rendering index are installed, their deep-set optics and flush installation making them invisible. The same type of lighting was also required above the counters, where pharmacists and customers interact. Black and white Stinger projectors illuminate the display gondolas and the products on the walls.

Outside, colour (yellow and grey) has been used to make the pharmacy stand out but also to communicate the pharmacy’s fresh, innovative approach – a new centre for citizens’ health services.

Functional lighting on the external walkways is provided by Pasito 1.2 step lights and Bright 1.A recessed fixtures along the wall and on the steps. Smoothy downlights are installed along the underside of the black canopy: Smoothy 2.4 with elliptical optics light the path, while Smoothy 5.4 with rotationally symmetrical optics illuminate the corner entrance. Neva 1.0 linear profiles mounted on brackets are installed along the perimeter wall at the back of the shop, transforming it into a luminous and significant secondary facade for customers entering from the busy street in front.

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