Placebo Pharmacy / KLab

© KLab. Photographed by P. Kokkinias.

shared their latest project, a Placebo pharmacy in Athens, with us.   By wrapping the existing orthagonal footprint in a dynamic circular skin, KLab has created a sophisticated spiraling form which seeks to create a relationship with the rapid motion of Vouliagmenis Avenue, the urban artery on which the building stands.  The 600 sqm structure houses a pharmacy on the ground floor and ancillary office space on the upper mezzanine.  Clad in metal panels that are perforated using Braille – a move that both alludes to the system’s use on pharmaceutical packaging and boosts visibility by allowing the light to find its way into the interior – the compositional quality of the material selection creates a polished exterior that attracts passers-by.

More images and more about the project after the break.

© KLab. Photographed by P. Kokkinias.

Inside, the perforated metal speckles natural light across the pharmacy and a continuous ramp that connects the two floors compliments the outer form.

© KLab. Photographed by P. Kokkinias.

The pharmacy is arranged in plan in a radial pattern with the main cashiers desk acting as the focal point. The product displays fan out from this focal point giving the cashier the ability to view the whole pharmacy from this central area. The drug dispensary, preparation areas and toilets are also arranged off this radial pattern. This pattern gives a natural flow to the space and allows light deep into the center of the plan at all times throughout the day.

Principal architect: Konstantinos Labrinopoulos

Façade artistic implementation: Xara Marantidou

Design team: Enrique Ramirez, Mark Chapman, Kostis Anagnostakis

Images credit: P. Kokkinias

Cite: Cilento, Karen. "Placebo Pharmacy / KLab" 30 May 2011. ArchDaily. Accessed 28 May 2015. <>
  • Master Shake

    straight from the splash screen of Revit 2011

  • Graeme
  • emmanuel

    nice piece of architecture. like the concept of the Braille used.

  • Graeme

    Well yes virginia, except that the first images of the BIG project were online in mid 2008…just in time for KLAB to rip them off-huh?

    The braille idea is also REALLY dumb- braille is after all a tactile language, not a visual one- so to use this as a contrived visual pattern just doesn’t work for me….

    Back to the drawing board KLAB!

    • R Goldschmidt

      Graeme, maybe you, like some, or maybe say many of people around here are just like simple satelite around BIG, come on, Bjarke Ingel dose not invented the math,and please, it is just tha facade, who is braille. Actually this is the original thing, braille is used in pharmaceutic stuff, not in BIG’s big bike parking. And you make me puke with you’re comment: “The braille idea is also REALLY dumb-braille is after all a tactile language, not a visual one…” It’s sems like they put you’re BIG idol to the wall.