My approach is to design from the inside out and my buildings have been said to ‘unfold cinematically’. The starting point is to gain an understanding of a client’s needs and the way in which a sequence of spaces will be used. - David Adjaye
Adjaye Associates strives for an architecture that enriches daily life and meets the diverse needs of the communities we serve from the intimate to the expansive.
We believe architecture presents opportunities for transformation—materially, conceptually, sociologically—and can act as a catalytic mechanism for bridging and creating relationships between the human body, society and the world.
As a multidisciplinary studio, research is indispensable to our process and we undertake the responsibility of articulating narratives through understanding the past in order to create a vibrant, socially and environmentally responsible future.
Notions of place-making, identity, memory and meaning, are central to our design process as we aim to create structures conducive to positive forms of human transformation.
Materiality & Light
Through an investigation into space, direction, and artistic malleability of materials, we utilize light as an actant in the design process. Whether it’s earthen materials that articulate a façade, or textures that allow entrance to light, we attempt a cohesive relationship between both materiality and light that emphasizes intricacies and accentuates the experience and meaning of our structures.
The collaboration between art and architecture is central to the studio’s practice. As two seemingly distinctive forces, the collective elements between the logics of geometry and material flows allows for new configurations and typologies to evolve.
Actualized within the level of the spatial, somatic, and sonic, David’s collaborations with artists, curators and cultural organizations in the production of exhibitions, installations, public buildings and pavilions brings a new dimension to the experience.
At Adjaye Associates we believe in design that is responsive to and symbiotic with the environment which entails a type of listening that is specific to culture and climate.
Our studio anticipates a social futurity that sees the built environment as successful only if it is equitable and in dialogue with its physical and sociocultural context. In order to realize this vision of a social futurity, Adjaye Associates’ practice of sustainable architecture transcends just bio-material sourcing or low consumptive construction processes. Instead, our approach merges ecology with diversity and inclusion to create holistically sustainable spaces — not just in terms of their durability, but their usability and maintained relevance.
Working Across Multiple Scales
We work at many different scales—from products, furniture and interiors to landscaping and master planning—all of which provides a dynamic reinterpretation of space and materials that allow entrance into a world of forms. This multi-scalar flow informs our body of work from intimate interior spaces of private residences, landscaped waterfronts, educational campuses to urban quarters, each is designed with an experimentation and ability to navigate form.
David Adjaye’s vision is one that promotes multiple interpretations of the civic experience through reimagining the interventions of master planning and landscape. The approach to master planning is driven by the human-scaled complexities of urban living in parallel with the driving forces of what is considered in a landscape—topography, geography and climate.
The practice’s ability to work across scale from the micro to the macro is key to the methodology of urban development. We believe that urban environments can only thrive if they are designed on every level to respond to the future, expand on civic narratives, and celebrate difference.
At the heart of our studio is the desire to use architecture as a tool for enhancing communities and cultivating a symbiotic relationship between humanity and the built environment. Through rigorous dialogue we pay earnest attention to the historical relationships between land and people, stimulating dialogue that would otherwise go unheard. This provides invaluable insight that informs our formal design process as we are able to make new connections, linking potential structures to a deeper humanitarian need, as well as anticipate and problem solve design challenges that might arise throughout a project’s conception.
As a multidisciplinary studio, Adjaye Associates is composed, not only of architects and designers but a robust team of researchers whose work is integrated into all aspects of the design process. The insights and analysis gleaned from the research arm of the practice is vital to the creative discourse that drives its built work. While every individual project has unique qualities, it is the practice’s research that provides an overarching framework for experimentation, reflection and theoretical connections. From historical analyses of Ancient Egyptian numerology, to a cultural evocation of Eora Aboriginal dot paintings; an in-depth look at mud, to the significance of Yoruban King’s three-tiered crowns in West Africa-the explorations of our research brings meaning and criticality into design.