David Adjaye OBE is recognized as a leading architect of his generation. Adjaye was born in Tanzania to Ghanaian parents. In 1994 he set up his first office, where his ingenious use of materials and his sculptural ability established him as an architect with an artist’s sensibility and vision.
In 2000, the newly formed Adjaye Associates immediately won several prestigious commissions including the Nobel Peace Centre (2005). In the United States, Adjaye designed the new home for the Museum of Contemporary Art in Denver (2007), two public libraries in Washington DC (2012), and several innovative residential projects, including a social housing scheme in New York’s Sugar Hill (2014). In 2009 a team led by Adjaye was selected to design the new $360 million Smithsonian National Museum of African American History and Culture on the National Mall in Washington DC. Adjaye Associates’ largest completed project to date is the £160 million Moscow School of Management Skolkovo (2010).
Adjaye frequently collaborates with contemporary artists on art and installation projects including The Upper Room, with paintings by Chris Ofili (2002), which is now in the permanent collection of Tate Britain.
Adjaye has taught at the Royal College of Art, where he previously studied, and at the Architectural Association School in London, and has held distinguished professorships at the universities of Pennsylvania, Yale and Princeton. He is the John C. Portman Design Critic in Architecture at Harvard. He was awarded the OBE for services to architecture in 2007, received the Design Miami/Year of the Artist title in 2011 and the Wall Street Journal Innovator Award in 2013.
Material from Adjaye’s ten-year study of the capital cities of Africa was shown in an exhibition at the Design Museum, London (2010). He is now collaborating with Haus der Kunst in Munich and the Art Institute of Chicago on a comprehensive retrospective exhibition.
Image courtesy Ed Reeve