A new generation of Idea Stores
Idea Store Watney Market is the first of a new generation of Tower Hamlets’ ground-breaking library and learning centres; funded by the Big Lottery, the £3 million Idea Store was designed by Clerkenwell architects Bisset Adams as a ‘marketplace of information’ for local people to access library and other services from the council and its partners.
The stated aim is to improve local people’s lives particularly in the areas of health and employment. Through the design development local people and library staff were involved in a dynamic, collaborative consultation process.
It’s an example of how design and branding can transform perceptions and engage communities in a real sense of ownership of their local services. The Idea Store is a landmark, a transparent and inviting glass box with a high performance façade in the busy Commercial Road; the graphic patterning reflects the rich mix of local communities using the Idea Store. A green staircase is visible from the outside, inviting visitors to the library on the first and second floors.
It carries through the highly successful ‘Idea’ branding – anyone can have ideas, and they can change your life – which Bisset Adams designed over a decade ago. Idea Stores are a rich new concept extending the traditional role of the library into something more relevant for local communities in the East End of London.