British-Ghanaian architect, David Adjaye designed the Nobel Peace Centre and is building cities

by Rachel Ogbu//

David Adjaye turned 50 this year. He was just honoured “Knight Bachelor” by Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II for his “services to architecture”.

Vogue Magazine opens this eulogised feature for British-Ghanaian architect David Adjaye.

It reads:  “David Adjaye has hit the top without having to wait his turn. He has buildings or ongoing projects on four continents. He spends a third of his life on airplanes; maintains offices in London, New York, Berlin, and Accra; and rarely spends two consecutive nights in the same bed. He’s on the short list of architects now being considered for President Obama’s library. And on September 24, two days after his fiftieth birthday, the Adjaye-designed National Museum of African American History and Culture opens on the National Mall, in Washington, D.C.

He has created buildings that will be adored for generations but now Adjaye is channeling his energy in the way entire cities are made. He has designed long-range master plans for Libreville, the capital of Gabon, and for a town in West Ghana. In San Francisco, he has been commissioned to rebuild Hunters Point Naval Shipyard into a new town for 40,000 people. “I’m just a teenager in terms of architecture,” Adjaye tells Vogue. “It takes you 20 years to rehearse before you can actually say that you know what you’re talking about, or that people can trust you with vast amounts of money. I always think I’m just beginning, but I’ve made it through. I feel like now I’m at the height of my abilities.David Adjaye

Adjaye, the son of a Ghanaian diplomat has lived in London since he was nine years old- he was born in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania. He was named Officer of the Order of the British Empire in 2007. After receiving his knighthood on 12 May, 2017, Adjaye said: “I am deeply honoured and delighted to have received a knighthood for my contribution to architecture, and absolutely thrilled to be recognised for a role that I consider a pleasure to be able to undertake. I’d like to thank Her Majesty the Queen for this incredible privilege, which I see as a celebration of the potential architecture has to effect positive social change.”

The official document of honoraries read: Adjaye is one of the leading architects of his generation and a global cultural ambassador for the UK. His designs include the Nobel Peace Centre in Oslo in the shell of a disused railway station and the Idea Stores in Tower Hamlets, London, as well as the Museum of Contemporary Art in Denver and numerous private commissions.

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