Idea Stores, Tower Hamlets, London
With Adjaye Associates
John Moran was Project Director on this project for the London Borough of Tower Hamlets in east London. The Idea Store concept sets out to transform the library type by integrating library and adult education services into a seamless offer located in busy shopping districts. Retail concepts such as clear branding, in-store cafes and floorwalkers are used to draw people in and to de-mystify the traditional image of libraries.
The Whitechapel building is seen as the flagship store and is adjacent to a grade II listed building. The building form responds to the rights of light of the neighbouring apartments. A large cantilevered portico overhangs the street to draw people into the building. Steet level escalators further aid access to the upper levels. A café on the top floor enjoys panoramic views to the City of London. The façade utilises an innovative system of deep timber mullions to provide perimeter bookshelving, and study spaces.