Saturday, January 24, 2009
The Idea Store (2005) designed by David Adjaye is a public library located in one of the poorest areas of East London. The coloured glass façade presents and optimistic and playful character in an otherwise bleak urban environment. Reflecting the activity of the street market located on the footpath in front of the building. The disused main entrance protrudes from the façade and has a strong presence on the footpath bringing the visitors up onto the first floor of the building on an escalator. The current entrance is located at street level and I imagine the escalator would provide a much stronger threshold between the bustling street and the quieter interior. The provision of a side laneway to the local supermarket further integrates the building with the context and daily activity of the community
The Idea Store is a combination of a community center, youth center and library and contains classrooms, studios, workshops, libraries and a café that are loosely arranged and mixed throughout the building ensuring intensive use of all areas. The materials are economical and carefully detailed suggesting the building was constructed on a small budget that has not diminished the importance of the program or character of the interiors.