Known for his bold and whimsical spaces, Jean de Lessard designs a pharmacy that steps out of the norm through fun aesthetics and feng shui principles. Located in Quartier DIX30, on the outskirts of Montreal, the Uniprix pharmacy challenges accepted notions.
We wanted the space to reflect the human side of the profession, that it becomes an empathetic place, simple and collective, unpretentious, allowing the pharmacists to be more accessible and be seen by their patients.
– Jean de Lessard
Jean de Lessard designed the space as a social hub, making the laboratory the focal point to act as a place to socialize amongst neighbours. From initial stages the design was modulated by following feng shui principles. The interior organization was determined to promote a smooth circulation of the energy flow (Ch’i).
The laboratory consists of a grouping of circles around which one can walk, including a magistral medicine side room, a storage room and a circular glass air-lock looking office with a sliding door, for private consultations.
Natural light played an important role in the space planning. The laboratory was positioned on the north side where soft natural light comes through large windows. The choice of steel elements and blue as the main colour in this area were carefully chosen, as the north is associated in feng shui to water and metal elements. The yellow-coloured fabric covering the wall of the medicine side room adds warmth and balance to the area.
Placement of the furniture is far from accidental: high furniture positioned at the periphery and low-profile units offer an unobstructed line of view of the laboratory and the pharmacists.
Simplifying the reading of the space and the products plus optimizing the merchandising factor took months of research, volumetric studies and discussions. These aspects stem from the pharmacist and the designer’s wish for a colorful and refined place, in a simple fashion. Kieu Truong believes that it is possible for banners to humanize their store as she did to improve the customer experience.
I’ve found a few [competitors] covertly trying to take pictures! I have them visit the place.
– Kieu Truong – owner
The pastel furniture pieces bring a fun element to the space. Behind their apparent simplicity of form, the shelves and counters built by cabinet-maker Héritage did present many technical challenges themselves subject to intensive research. Further, colouring preparation called for a rigorous sampling process, until the proper shade for each colour was achieved.
Those pastel colours are a perfect balance to Kieu Truong’s personality, a true ball of energy! The colour acts as a gentle counterpoint to her vivacious personality, interplaying with the yin and the yang.
– Jean de Lessard
The beauty of the space is in the de-cluttered look, something we do not often associate with pharmacies. Conveying fluidity and openness, creating harmony and balance have been important design factors throughout the project.
The reason is that we consciously wanted to dissociate the mercantile aspect of the professional act of the pharmacist. Listening, professionalism and human warmth prevail over product.
– Jean de Lessard
Jean de Lessard also designed the Centre Médical Alexandre, owned too by the pharmacist. He sought to animate this clinic located on the first floor with the same spirit of clarity and simplicity, selecting similar volumes and materials for continuity. A sense of movement and the rounded walls energize the place in a non-aggressive manner.
The round scheme is used for furniture, just as it was used in the pharmacy. The wooden slats ceiling of the waiting room in the south part is another auspicious architectural detail. Wood brings structure, warmth and brightness without oppressing the Ch’i. In feng shui, the south part benefits from the strong presence of the wood element and is, by extension, beneficial to all of those present in the space.
Client: Kieu Truong, pharmacist owner, Uniprix
Designers: Jean de Lessard, creative designers
Project manager: Alexa Adam
General contractor: Construction Mikado
Project manager: Teresa Botello
Cabinetwork Pharmacy: Héritage Ébénisterie Architecturale
Cabinetwork Centre Médical: Regency Ébénisterie
Shelf Pharmacy: Équipement Boni
Lighting: Au Courant Lighting
Glass: Renaissance Glassworks
Stainless steel: Gagnon Spécialité
Pharmacy Materials: Ceramic tile, laminate, fabric, glass, stainless steel
Centre Médical Materials: Ceramic tile, laminate, fabric, glass, wood, carpet
Pharmacy area: 8,100 square feet
Centre Médical area: 2,800 square feet
Photography: Adrien Williams
*All images and information courtesy of v2com.