Century-old pharmacy converted into a beautiful three-floor retail outlet in Manhattan.
Pneumatic tubes have been around since the 1800s, which makes them the perfect fit Warby Parker‘s new Upper East Side location, which has also preserved much of the building’s century-old architecture.
Neil Blumenthal, Warby Parker co-founder, told Fast Company that the tubes, installed by Zip Pneumatics, were the perfect way to save space, and also add something to the customer experience.
“Pneumatic tubes were fun, and the most effective way to do it,” explains Blumenthal. “Sometimes you don’t need the newest technology to create the best customer experience.”
The company’s new location is made up of three floors, with inventory tucked away in the basement. Each of the customer-facing floors has an exam area, while the mezzanine features a reading space filled with quarterly publications. Warby Parker has also gone to great lengths to retain the character of Lascoff Drugs, the pharmacy that used to reside in the building.
A hand-cranked dumbwaiter was also considered for the store, which was redesigned in collaboration with Partners & Spade and Reform-Creative, but it’s likely that pneumatic tubes won out on efficiency. Blumenthal also told Fast Company that “Details build brands, and details are what define customer experiences.” It’s a good thing the company did pay attention to the details, because it makes for a stunning architectural experience, as you can see in the pictures below.