If you understand that architecture is a social art form, it requires the input of the citizen to allow great architecture to happen. It comes out of being engaged culturally and listening. I always say, listen to the energy of the community, because that tells you where the project
should go. - David Adjaye
Since establishing Adjaye Associates in 2000, David Adjaye has crafted a global team that is multicultural and stimulated by the broadest possible cultural discourse. The practice has studios in Accra, London and New York with work spanning the globe. The practice’s most well-known commission to date, the Smithsonian National Museum of African American History and Culture (NMAAHC), opened in 2016 on the National Mall in Washington, DC and was named “Cultural Event of the Year” by The New York Times.
In addition to the National Museum of African American History & Culture, selected completed works include: 1199 SEIU United Healthcare Workers East, the new Public Member Spaces for the labor union’s headquarters in Manhattan; Ruby City, a new contemporary art center in San Antonio, Texas; The Webster in Los Angeles, a new flagship retail space for the luxury multi-brand retailer; Sugar Hill Mixed-Use Development and Children’s Museum of Art and Storytelling in Harlem, New York; the Aïshti Foundation Arts and Shopping Complex in Beirut Lebanon; two neighborhood libraries in Washington, DC; the Moscow School of Management SKOLKOVO in Russia; the Hugh Masekela Memorial Pavilion in Johannesburg, South Africa; the Museum of Contemporary Art Denver in Colorado; the Alara Concept Store in Lagos; The Nobel Peace Centre in Oslo, Norway; and the Idea Stores– two pioneering community libraries in London’s Tower Hamlets.
Today the portfolio continues to evolve with major cultural and civic projects, including: Newton Enslaved Burial Ground Memorial in Bridgetown, Barbados; The Africa Institute in Sharjah, UAE; District Hospitals in multiple locations across Ghana; the Edo Museum of West African Art (EMOWAA) in Benin City, Nigeria; the Thabo Mbeki Presidential Library in Johannesburg, South Africa; a new home for The Studio Museum in Harlem, New York; 130 William, a high-rise residential tower in New York’s financial district; the new George Street Plaza, a public plaza community building and artwork in Sydney’s Central Business District; The Abrahamic Family House, an interfaith complex in Abu Dhabi; a new facility for the Princeton University Art Museum; new headquarters for the International Financial Corporation (IFC) in Dakar, Senegal; the National Cathedral of Ghana in Accra; the Marine Drive Accra in Accra, Ghana; the East County Library in Oregon; and the UK Holocaust Memorial and Learning Centre, situated in London next to the Houses of Parliament.
The firm has received widespread recognition for its contributions to architecture. Adjaye was announced the winner of the 2021 RIBA Royal Gold Medal, considered one of the highest honors in British architecture for significant contributions to the field internationally. In his award citation, the 2021 RIBA Honours Committee explained, “Through his work as an architect Sir David Adjaye speaks confidently across cultures, disciplines, politics, and continents. His body of work is global and local, finely attuned as it reflects and responds to context and community, climate, and culture.”