In the world of high profile architecture & architects, African names rarely come to mind; however David Adjaye has changed things around being a recognized leading architect of his generation. Born to Ghanaian parents in Tanzania, is inspired by contemporary art, music and science to African art forms and the civic life of cities. Adjaye has taught at the Royal College of Art, where he had 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 currently 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, the Wall Street Journal Innovator Award in 2013 and the W.E.B. Du Bois medal from Harvard University.
David continues to showcase his creative use of materials and his sculptural abilities that set him apart as a reputable architect and artist. He has since won several prominent commissions such as the Nobel Peace Centre he designed in Oslo, Norway in the shell of a disused railway station; in London his designed the Whitechapel Idea Store, Stephen Lawrence Centre, the Rivington Place, the Bernie Grant Centre for the Performing Arts and a $251,137,600 Moscow School of Management Skolkovo- just to name a few. Alongside his international commissions, he has worked with A-List clientele from actors Brad Pitt, Ewan McGregor to homes for the late fashion icon designer Alexander McQueen, photographer Juergen Teller, and artists Tim Noble, Jake Chapman and Sue Webster. David continues draw attention to his art in the world of architecture, art and even in the world of fashion.
With four international offices, David’s company Adjaye Associates continues to expand its portfolios working on projects throughout the world such as a shopping and cultural complex in Beirut, a concept store in Lagos, a new headquarters building for the International Finance Corporation in Dakar and a hospital in Rwanda. Adding the artistic flare to his resume as a renowned architect, David collaborates with artists on art and installation projects. Such artists and installations include the now permanent collection piece of Tate Britain Upper Room, with thirteen paintings by Chris Ofili , along with Ofili’s Within Reach, which was a second installation in the British pavilion at the Venice Biennale. There is also the Thyssen-Bornemisza Art for the 21st Century Pavilion designed to show a projection work by Olafur Eliasson, Your Black Horizon, at the Venice Biennale in 2005. He also collaborates with the Director of the Venice Art Biennale, Okwui Enwezor on the prestigious event.
David Adjaye currently holds a Visiting Professor post at Princeton University School of Architecture. He was the first Louis Kahn visiting professor at the University of Pennsylvania, and was the Kenzo Tange Professor in Architecture at Harvard Graduate School of Design. In addition, he is a RIBA Chartered Member, an AIA Honorary Fellow, a Foreign Honorary Member of the American Academy of Arts and Letters, and a Senior Fellow of the Design Futures Council. He serves as a member of the Advisory Council of the Barcelona Institute of Architecture and the London School of Economics Cities program.
The studio's first solo exhibition entitled David Adjaye: Making Public Buildings was shown at the Whitechapel Gallery in London with Thames and Hudson publishing the catalogue of the same name. This followed a publication of his first book, David Adjaye Houses. He is one of a team of architects, which includes the Freelon Group, Davis Brody Bond and SmithGroup, who have been selected to design the new Smithsonian National Museum of African American History and Culture on the National Mall in Washington, D.C.
Since establishing Adjaye Associates in 2000, David Adjaye has crafted a global team that is multicultural, which is stimulated by the broadest possible cultural discourse, and is characterized by a sense of curiosity and a research-based methodology. As Principal Architect, he is integral to each project, supported by a group of senior directors and talented professionals. Considered the model of the new architect, by Aaron Betsky of the Cincinnati Art Museum, David continues to makes strides setting himself apart as a one of a kind African and an global iconic artist who is well versed across the board in the contemporary art, architecture and fashion worlds.