Picture: Sir David Adjaye, photo by Alex Fradkin
The Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA) announced that Sir David Adjaye will receive one of the world’s highest honours for architecture, the 2021 Royal Gold Medal. Approved personally by Her Majesty The Queen, the honour is given to a person or group of people who have had a significant influence on the advancement of architecture.
Sir David Adjaye founded his architectural firm, Adjaye Associates, in 2000 and has since opened studios in Accra, London and New York. His work as an architect over the past 25 years include projects completed across the globe which have achieved international attention for their brilliance.
‘It’s incredibly humbling and a great honour to have my peers recognise the work I have developed with my team and its contribution to the field over the past 25 years. Architecture, for me, has always been about the creation of beauty to edify all peoples around the world equally and to contribute to the evolution of the craft. The social impact of this discipline has been and will continue to be the guiding force in the experimentation that informs my practice. A heartfelt and sincere moment of gratitude and thanks to all the people who supported the journey to get to this moment,’ said Sir David Adjaye.
Drawing on his cited influences including ‘contemporary art, music and science to African art forms and the civic life of cities’, his completed projects range from private houses, exhibitions and furniture design, through to major cultural buildings and city masterplans.
Adjaye Associates are most well-known for the Smithsonian National Museum of African American History and Culture, in Washington, DC (2016), where they were lead designer of the Freelon Adjaye/Bond SmithGroup. Other completed projects include Ruby City, an art centre in San Antonio, Texas (2019), the Alara Concept Store in Lagos (2016) and the Nobel Peace Centre in Oslo, Norway (2005).
Current projects include a new home for The Studio Museum in Harlem, New York in collaboration with Cooper Robertson, the National Cathedral of Ghana in Accra and the Thabo Mbeki Presidential Library in Johannesburg, South Africa.