David Adjaye is now recognized as one of the leading architects of his generation in the U.K. He formed a partnership in 1994 and quickly developed a reputation as an architect with an artist’s sensibility and vision. His ingenious use of materials, bespoke design and ability to sculpt and showcase light have engendered high regard from both the architectural community and the wider public.
He reformed his studio in June 2000 as Adjaye Associates and has since gone on to win a number of prestigious commissions. Projects have been diverse in scale, audience, and geography; collaborations with artists including Chris Ofili and Olafur Eliasson, exhibition design, temporary pavilions, and private homes both in the U.K. and New York. More recently, major arts centers and important public buildings across London, Oslo, and Denver have demonstrated David’s considered approach to understanding the needs of the constituency served by each building and a respect for integration with their existing locale.
David understands his status as a role model for young people and lectures frequently. He was the first Louis Khan visiting professor at the University of Pennsylvania, and was the Kenzo Tange Professor in Architecture at Harvard’s Graduate School of Design. Previously a unit tutor at the Architectural Association, David was also a lecturer at the Royal College of Art where he received his MA in architecture in 1993. That same year he was awarded the RIBA First Prize Bronze Medal. Following this, he trained at David Chipperfield Architects and then Eduardo Souto de Moura Architects in Oporto.
In May 2005, Thames & Hudson published David’s first book, David Adjaye Houses: Recycling, Reconfiguring, Rebuilding which was distributed worldwide. In January 2006, the Whitechapel Gallery in London hosted the studio’s first exhibition ‘David Adjaye: Making Public Buildings,’ which was accompanied by a book of the same name. The exhibition then toured to the Studio Museum in Harlem, New York, SCAD Savannah, and the Museum of Contemporary Art/Denver.
David has co-presented two television series of Dreamspaces for the BBC, a six-part series on contemporary architecture, and hosted two BBC Radio programs; the first featured an interview with Oscar Niemeyer and the second with Charles Correa. In June 2005 he presented the TV program Building Africa: Architecture of a Continent. Following on from this he is pursuing a personal project documenting each of Africa’s capital cities to culminate in book and exhibition in 2009.
In June 2007, David was awarded an OBE for services to architecture in the Queen’s birthday honors list. He received an honorary doctorate of the arts from the University of East London in November 2007 and is an honorary member of the AIA New York and the American Academy of Arts and Letters.