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One of David Adjaye’s London “Idea Stores”…Replica coming to a Ward 8 neighborhood near you?

Seriously, this guy’s a big deal.

Earlier this fall, the District chose David Adjaye to design two new libraries in D.C. Now, he’s coming here to speak at the MatthewsMemorialBaptistChurch in Anacostia tomorrow evening (more info below).Adjaye is known for his “Idea Stores” in his hometown of London. The “stores” are actually libraries with a broadened, enlightened sense of the word. They include everything from, you know, books, to “spaces for teaching dance and complementary therapies” and a variety of “state-of-the-art” learning spaces and classrooms. He also completed the Museum of Contemporary Art in Denver, Ewan McGregor‘s home, and the Nobel Peace Center in Oslo, Norway.

According to an October Washington Post article, “the name ‘Idea Stores’ wasn’t Adjaye’s, but he embraced the concept: how to make libraries that serve multicultural, 21st-century, Web-hungry communities.” Press release below from the Library Renaissance Project:

Public to Meet Renowned Library Architect David Adjaye,
Selected to Design Two Libraries East of the River

WASHINGTON, DC – December 15, 2008 –The DC Public Library will hold a public event for members of the community to meet with world-famous young architect David Adjaye. Selected by DCPL to design rebuilds of the Francis Gregory and Washington Highland branches, both in neighborhoods east of the Anacostia River, Adjaye is celebrated for his Idea Store libraries in London, England.

“Idea Stores” are multistory community, cultural, and learning centers that shook up the notion of library by incorporating cafes and dance studios, classrooms for adult literacy and college courses offerings, extensive web access and childcare “crèches” for learners. In 2006, Adjaye’s Whitechapel Idea Store was shortlisted for the Stirling Prize for the greatest contribution to British architecture that year. Take a virtual tour of the Whitechapel Idea Store.

What:Meeting, reception with David Adjaye
Tuesday, December 16, 2008
Time:6:00 pm
Where: MatthewsMemorialBaptistChurch
2616 Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard, SE.

Adjaye’s fee for both library buildings will come out of $2.6 million DCPL has slated for design, which includes money for his local architectural partner, Wiencek + Associates. Each building will cost about $9.5 million.

Image by Catfunt, Flickr Creative Commons