David Adjaye Continues to Build


Last week Adjaye Associates, the London practice of starchitect David Adjaye-who first gained notoriety with his Modernist-looking Idea Stores; his practice was founded in 2000 and recently expanded by opening offices in Berlin and New York. Adjaye was nominated for a RIBA Stirling Prize and won a RIBA Inclusive Design Award, both in 2006; won a RIBA International Award and a RIBA London Award, both in 2008, and has completed the Nobel Peace Center in Oslo (2005) and the Museum of Contemporary Art in Denver (2007). After plans for four major buildings fell through or were delayed, Adjaye is facing insolvency. Adjaye Associates is currently in a CVA [Company Voluntary Arrangement], confirmed Adjaye Associates Communications Director, Dionne Griffith.

Griffith is quick to defend the health of the company, citing recent improvements in the economic climate. “The company is now in a much stronger position than it was 6 months ago when the CVA started,” says Griffith. “Since the beginning of the year, [Adjaye Associates] has won and commenced work on one of the largest and most significant projects the company has ever been involved in and our forecasts for the next two years are very positive.” Griffith is referring to the National Museum of African American History and Culture in D.C.-about as prestigious as architectural commissions come.

A summary of Adjaye’s projects moving forward:

Smithsonian Institution—National Museum of African American History and Culture on the National Mall, Washington D.C. (2015)
Beating out other high-profile architects, among them Norman Foster and Diller Scofidio & Renfro, Adjaye Associates was awarded the NMAAHC commission in April 2009.  The concept for the building is an elevated “mound” dominated by a two-tiered structure, which Adjaye dubbed a “celebration crown.” Expected to cost $500 million, the museum will be erected on a site near the Washington Monument.

Washington Libraries (2011)

In 2008, Adjaye Associates was commissioned to design a pair of new public libraries-replacing the existing Francis Gregory and Washington Highlands facilities-in the Washington D.C. area.  Each building will cost around $9.6 million and their designs will be modern, geometric and similar in spirit to Adjaye’s “idea store” aesthetic.

Moscow School of Management/Skolkovo (2010)

In 2006, Adjaye Associates was commissioned to design a business school and conference center-a joint project by major Russian and international business leaders-on the outskirts of Moscow. Impressed by the ideas of the Russian Constructivist artist Kazimir Malevich, Adjaye proposed his own architectural vision of Malevich’s masterpieces for the building’s design.  The project will cost $200 million.

Other current projects include:

The Sugar Hill Project / Broadway Housing—mixed use development of affordable housing, children’s museum, not-for-profit office space, parking in Harlem, NY.
Confidential project—Qatar
Private home—Ghana
Artist’s studio and home—Trinidad
Commercial office development for Manhattan Loft Corporation in London
Private home—Munich
Africa. Cont—arts and cultural centre in Lisbon Portugal