Here's the winner of the unofficial—and not exactly hotly contested—"World's Most Beautiful Pharmacy" competition, Lordelo Pharmacy in Vila Real, Portugal. This design, coupled with the surreal architectural plans of a few Miami Walgreens, seems to indicate that drug stores present the next wave of high-design possibilities, along with fashion storefronts, fast food restaurants, and elementary schools. In this case, Portuguese architect José Carlos Cruz created a stark, minimalist environment—bolstered by high-gloss ceilings, lots of open space, and rows of shampoo and lotion bottles lined up with military precision—and manages to convey the serious, sterile tone of a hospital with the chromatic contrast of a candy store. The building has no corners and only one entrance to the outside; Cruz didn't even give the pharmacy a single window, instead wrapping the whole structure in undisrupted corrugated aluminum. Sitting in a peripheral part of the city, the structure stands out as one of the area's only architecturally compelling pieces. "In the absence of external references, it was chosen to create a building with an abstract and neutral character," says Cruz. The "abstract" (read: bean-shaped) exterior? Equally intriguing, with a giant green cross illuminating nearly the entire façade. Have a look below.
· Lordelo Pharmacy by José Carlos Cruz [Contemporist]
· Here Now, 37 Ultra-Design-y Boutiques Around the Globe [Curbed National]