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David Adjaye

  • CountryTanzania
  • Born1966


British based architect Sir David Adjaye OBE RA was born in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania to Ghanaian parents. After living in several African and Middle Eastern countries, his family settled in London. There he earned a B.Arch from South Bank University, London in 1990 and an M.Arch from the Royal College of Art in 1993.

Adjaye is recognised as one of the leading architects of his generation in the UK. After forming a partnership with William Russell (Adjaye and Russell) in 1994 he 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 attracted acclaim from both the architectural community and the wider public. After reforming his studio in 2000 (Adjaye Associates), he went on to win a number of prestigious commissions including collaborations with artists such as Chris Ofili and Olafur Eliasson; exhibition designs; temporary pavilions; and private homes both in the UK and New York. He has also worked on major arts centres and important public buildings across London, Oslo and Denver; each project demonstrating a perceptive response to the functions and site-specificity of the space to be designed. 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. June 2007 saw Adjaye awarded an OBE for services to architecture and in 2017 he was elected Royal Academician and named the world’s most influential architect by Time magazine.

Adjaye’s design for the landmark building (Rivington Place) in which Iniva was housed for several years was accompanied by a site-specific installation which mapped the space, enabling visitors to experience the light of the site as well as a soundscape – made using contributions from local people and curated and composed by DJ/writer Charlie Dark. This installation, called ‘Length X Width X Height’ was illustrative of Adjaye’s approach to architecture as sculpture: the work invited its audience to engage with the design on both physical and emotional levels. In 2011, Rivington Place was included in the tour schedule for Open House London.

Adjaye lives and works in London.

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