London – Being in the Library
The impact of David Adjaye’s architecture, reflected by Daniela Keiser
1st edition, 2021
280 pages, 152 color illustrations
14 x 19 cm
Daniela Keiser is among the most renowned contemporary artists in Switzerland. In 2017 she was awarded the Prix Meret Oppenheim, and a studio grant from Landis & Gyr Stiftung that offered her an extended stay in London’s East End. There she discovered the Idea Store, the public library on Whitechapel Road, built by British architect David Adjaye in 2001–05. Upon its opening to the public this institution quickly became a meeting place also for socially disadvantaged people. The goal of the Idea Stores—eight of them have currently been opened in various London boroughs—is to upgrade neglected neighborhoods and offer a low-threshold source of education and information.
From that initial Idea Store on Whitechapel Road, Daniela Keiser began to take pictures of the goings-on in the street outside. Her Library—Idea Store series reveals a calm, repetitive insistent image and offers insight into the everyday variations in the surroundings. Her photographic reflection is accompanied by a conversation with David Adjaye conducted by art and architecture historian Philip Ursprung. They talk about Keiser’s perception of the site and—without actually showing the building—the impact of urban design and the architect’s intentions.
Daniela Keiser lives and works as an artist in Zurich and teaches at the Bern University of the Arts (HKB). Her work has been awarded numerous prizes, including Switzerland’s national art award Prix Meret Oppenheim in 2017.
Philip Ursprung is a professor of art and architectural history at ETH Zurich’s Institute for the History and Theory of Architecture (gta). He has been awarded the 2017 Prix Meret Oppenheim in mediation.
Sir David Adjaye RA is one of the most significant contemporary architects. His building designs in numerous countries and contributions to architectural discourse draw great attention worldwide.