Sir David Adjaye OBE
Sir David Adjaye is recognized as a leading architect of his generation. Born in Tanzania to Ghanian parents, his broadly ranging influences, ingenious use of materials and sculptural ability have established him as an architect with an artist’s sensibility and vision. He founded Adjaye Associates in 2000, and immediately won several prestigious commissions including the Nobel Peace Centre in Oslo (2005) and the Idea Stores in London (2005), which were credited with pioneering a new approach to the provision of information services. His largest project to date, the $540 million Smithsonian Institute National Museum of African American History and Culture, opened on the National Mall in Washington DC in 2016 and was named Cultural Event of the Year by the New York Times.
Adjaye Associates now has offices in London, New York and Accra with projects in the US, UK, Europe, Africa, Asia and the Middle East. These include the Moscow School of Management SKOLKOVO (2010), the Sugar Hill mixed-use social housing scheme in Harlem, New York (2015); the Aishti Foundation retail and art complex in Beirut (2015); and two neighborhood libraries in Washington DC (2012). Prominent ongoing projects include a new home for the Studio Museum in Harlem, New York, a major neighborhood masterplan in San Francisco, and One Berkeley, a £600 million redevelopment project in London’s prestigious Piccadilly area.
He frequently collaborates with contemporary artists on art and installation projects. Examples include The Upper Room, with thirteen paintings by Chris Ofili (2002), Within Reach, and the Thyssen-Bornemisza Art for the 21st Century Pavilion designed to show a work by Olafur Eliasson, Your Black Horizon, at the 2005 Venice Biennale. Sir David worked with curator Okwui Enwezor on the design of the 56th Venice Art Biennale (2015). He was awarded an OBE for services to architecture in 2007, received the Design Miami/ Artist of the Year title in 2011, the Wall Street Journal Innovator Award in 2013 and the 2016 Panerai London Design Medal, awarded by the London Design Festival.
In 2017, Sir David received a knighthood from Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II for services to architecture and was named one TIME’s 100 most influential people.
Sir David Adjaye OBE, Honorary Fellowship, SOAS Graduation 2017