kripper studio

kripper studio

Boston, MA



In a western suburb of Boston, this new cannabis shop invites visitors to familiarize themselves with recreational marijuana prior to purchase. Designed by US-based Kripper Studio, the dispensary is configured into educational and transactional pathways, so that newcomers and repeat customers may have differently paced experiences.  

Recreational marijuana sales in Massachusetts began as recently as 2018, two years after citizens voted to legalize it. Leicester, Massachusetts–based Cultivate was one of the first organizations authorized to conduct business in the state, and this store in Framingham is its second dispensary. 

Cultivate tapped Kripper Studio for both site selection and design of the project. Seeking to integrate recreational marijuana into Bostonians’ daily life, the architect recommended adapting a former restaurant into the shop. The narrow, one-storey structure is surrounded by commercial facilities, and it overlooks a heavily used commuter road. 

Kripper Studio maintained the footprint but increased Cultivate’s visibility to fast-moving vehicular traffic. The design team wrapped the 3,714-square-foot building in two widths of white-painted corrugated aluminum, which gave the structure a soaring parapet on all four elevations. By covering these surfaces in Cultivate’s signature green graphics, the facade is effectively transformed into a double-height billboard. “Expanding the perceived size of the volume, then using the envelope as a branding opportunity, is a strategy of amplifying and intensifying the existing building,” Kripper Studio said in a statement. 

Exterior graphics as well as an ADA-compliant ramp and steps draw customers’ attention to the primary entrance. They step into a glass-partitioned vestibule with cast-concrete floors, which serves as a security check and express pickup for online orders.  

For customers who prefer to make purchase decisions in person, that airlock transitions to an open-plan interior anchored by seven point-of-sale terminals. A natural plywood backdrop embedded with preserved moss unifies the cash wraps. Plywood reveals and painted display counters articulate individual sales points to make queueing more intuitive. 

Ceiling spots highlighting the display cases and strip LEDs integrated in the feature wall were all specified at 3500 Kelvin to create a naturalistic atmosphere. Kripper Studio expanded the openings of the former restaurant’s windows to maximize daylight, as well, in consideration of cannabis regulations that require obscuring glass with a translucent film.   

Elsewhere in the retail area, furnishings divide the space into destinations for customer education and browsing. Freestanding, blackened-steel display cases are aligned to reinforce queueing patterns. Elsewhere the vitrines—which hold buds, topicals, tinctures, and other products—allow browsers to gather without the pressure. A seating area includes a video display that teaches customers about the Cultivate inventory in more detail.

Arrangement of the floor plan into vignettes allows the interior to change quickly in response to new regulations or other conditions. Kripper Studio’s use of materials like plywood, preserved moss, and polished concrete support potential reconfiguration, too, thanks to their ready availability. 

“Although marijuana legalization has prompted the opening of numerous well-designed cannabis shops, today’s dispensary can still be associated with head shops of the not-so-distant past,” Kripper Studio added. “By dignifying simple materials through thoughtful design and careful fabrication, Cultivate is helping to redefine this project type as a serious architectural endeavor.”  

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Status: Built
Location: Boston, MA, US
Additional Credits: Structural Engineer: Souza Tru and Partners
Lighting: Reflex Lighting
Constructor: Hadley Contracting
Photography: John Horner