Wellings Pharmacy is a trusted name in the pharmaceutical industry and medical tourism with the dual aim of serving the wellness needs of the people and utilizing holistic applications to encourage the adoption of healthier lifestyles. On Penang island itself, Wellings Pharmacy has quite a number of branches scattered around the town area, one of which is named Wellings No.5. Gazetted as a heritage mansion, the existing empty building comes with distinctive colonial architecture with arched elements and exquisite cornices. By building on and re-using these elements in the design, we derived on a unique concept that is a blend of rich heritage and modern vibes. In breaking the stereotype that pharmacies are dull and monotonous, Wellings No.5 houses several divisions, seeking to provide an opportunity for creative individuals and start-ups to have an actual merchandising spot and to be able to, in their individual specialty, provide a sense of healing for all visiting consumers.
While designing the layout, several considerations were taken into account when converting the existing residential mansion’s functions for commercial use. A more open and permeable design was proposed by removing the existing partitions using methods that suit the structure of the building, creating a good one-way flow from the main entrance to each section is important to direct an efficient flow of traffic in and out of the store. Since the space houses different functions, an open layout with clear definition of various spatial functions would be most ideal for this project. We made use of the existing scattered layout, but opened up the existing rooms and grouped certain spaces together for a sense of segregation as well as accessibility and interaction between the different spatial functions.
To express the organicity and nature of its business, indoor greenery and a brighter shade in combination with wooden elements and Terracota flooring to convey a cheerful welcome to visitors. Arched elements, counter décor and shelves are designed to reflect elegance and luxury, while heritage materials and styles are maintained from the existing design – to showcase the local culture with a touch of modern vibrancy. Chequered shelves that follow the ergonomic curve of the archways double as a feature wall/semi-screen and compartments for product and promotional displays. The book store features a variety of health and wellness related books, displayed on a long glass table and several smaller wooden tables. A ramp, which provides easier access to disabled/wheelchair bound visitors, leads visitors to the pharmacy, which is designed with navy blue display cabinets to complement its blue mosaic flooring. A long hallway connects the pharmacy to the area for disability aids, while at the same time, offers nice external views while traversing from one space to another. Here, a custom made floor-to-ceiling display rack is built for wheelchairs, walking sticks and miscellaneous items
Beyond just physical health, Wellings is out to promote holistic healing and this design reflects the pharmacy’s desire to create an artistic and explorative collaboration between health and creativity. More than just a pharmacy, Wellings No.5 is a health sanctuary of sorts for people of all ages, who are looking for products, solutions or even just professional medical advice.