• Chicago, IL


  • Retail


  • Architecture
  • Interior Design
  • Sustainability


  • Michael Siegel, Associate Principal
Michael Siegel

Walgreens Health System Pharmacy

The first-of-its-kind drugstore features innovative biophilic design which creates a unique retail environment in a healthcare setting. This design explores multiple elements of biophilia.  Research has shown that our well-being and healing can be enhanced by exposure to nature, even mimicked nature. VOA designers, taking inspiration from Chicago’s lakefront parks and gardens, employ various elements of biophilia in the pharmacy’s design to create a calming, intimate and natural environment. The Walgreens Health System Pharmacy is designed to be an oasis within the neighborhood and the Northwestern Memorial Hospital community. This two-story flagship features retail on the ground floor and a pharmacy above, connected by a floating staircase. On the retail level, a restorative shopping experience was created through a “walk through the park” featuring architectural tree elements along the north and south interior walls. The space takes inspiration from the city’s lakefront parks and features elements that simulate trees, their shadows and the lake itself. To reach the pharmacy level, you ascend a grand staircase resembling stacked tectonic plates. Floating light fixtures above, symbolic of sky lanterns, represent health and happiness. On the second floor,  the pharmacy represents being figuratively up in the sky, amongst the clouds. Traced on the floor are the shapes of the tree canopies below. All the elements work to create a complete environmental experience and the entire composition of the store can be viewed through from the hospital’s two-story gallery.

It was a true collaborative creation between the design team and Walgreens. It's like going to Walgreens in a park.

- Michael Siegel

Learn more about Michael Siegel

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