library is designed in conjunction withother retailers/commercial partners and fashioned similarly to high streetstores. “Tower Hamlets has some of the highestlevels of social deprivation anywhere in Europe. The population has some of thehighest basic skills needs in the country. The percentage of the UK population,expressed as an average at ward level, in need of basic skills support is 24%.
In Tower Hamlets the average is 31%. Inone Tower Hamlets ward the assessed levelof need stood at 36% of the population (the highest level of basic skills needfor a ward anywhere in the country). ” (Department forDigital, Culture, Media & Sport, 2016) In 1999 the government created a nationalagenda for tackling employment skills, educational achievement andregeneration. Due to the decline of the state of education in parts of Britain,in hopes become more competitive in the world market. The national agendaconsisted of; • Library renewal: breathing new life intothe library network, bringing them into the information age and connectinglibraries to the new IT basedlearning networks• Lifelong learning: encouraging thedevelopment of a nationalgrid for learning, homework clubs and anational distance learning system through learn direct• Community renewal: working to encourage acommunity-focused approach to regenerating inner city areas, tackling theproblems dogging the housing estates.
CustomerServices and Education Directorates for the Arts, Leisure, Sports and Youth andCommunity Services Committees, 2002) The Idea Store proposals were designed todraw themes stated by the government in 1999 together, in a way that encapsulatesthe best traditions ofthe library movement and the educationsector but presented in a fresh and exciting way, one that lured in new usersand retained the existing users. The Idea Stores are located in the heart of neighbourhoodshopping areas, this concept is an interesting way to attract a demographicsuch as teenagers whom do not use the library service as much but do spendquite some time on the high street. Customer Services and Education Directoratesfor the Arts, Leisure, Sports and Youth and Community Services Committees,2002)There are currently four out of 7 plannedIDEA STORES located in Tower Hamlets the first was in Bow, opened in 2002, thenChrisp street in 2004, Whitechapel in 2005, which is their flagship IDEA Storeand the Canary Wharf branch in 2006. (Ideastore.co.uk, 2018) The old public library in Bow only used toamass 250-300 people a day, however after transitioning into the reformed IDEASTORE in 2002 designed by Adjaye/Associates, it gained traction, about 1000people walked through the doors of then new library.
This is because of the newservices it provided such as afternoon homework club for children, IT classesfor the elderly and amenities such as cafes and small shops, which you wouldn’ttypically find in a public library. (Lane, 2003) Theflagship IDEA STORE IN Whitechapel also designed by David Adjaye which cost£2.1million, is more or less a community building; it holds a nursery school, dance studio, seminar spaces,Internet services and physiotherapy tuition classrooms as well as a moreorthodox library facilities. Also on the top floor of the IDEA STORE is thecafé with views out towards the city, which pulls people up within thebuilding.
(Waite and Mark, 2006) “The structure is a lustrous, extremelyglazed box; while the front is of two storeys directed south to the street,most of the structure behind is on the first floor, sitting on an existingpodium above small single-storey shops, reading as an upper storey to themalong the narrow unroofed shopping mall to the east.To the north the store disappears amongexisting buildings as it meets Chrisp Street open-air market. To the west itsits on the podium in retail backlands, a black opaque face that is largelyunseen. Its four entrances emphasise accessibility.” (Ajbuildingslibrary.co.uk, 2006) Adjaye/Associates IDEASTORE in Whitechapel was nominated for a Stirling prize award for its architecturalinnovation