David Adjaye Wins Royal Gold Medal
Renowned architect Sir David Adjaye OBE has been named the 2021 recipient of the Royal Gold Medal, an award given by the Royal Institute of British Architects and approved by Her Majesty The Queen.
The award “is given to a person or group of people who have had a significant influence ‘either directly or indirectly on the advancement of architecture.’”
“It’s incredibly humbling and a great honor to have my peers recognize the work I have developed with my team and its contribution to the field over the past 25 years,” Adjaye said. “Architecture, for me, has always been about the creation of beauty to edify all peoples around the world equally and to contribute to the evolution of the craft. The social impact of this discipline has been and will continue to be the guiding force in the experimentation that informs my practice. A heartfelt and sincere moment of gratitude and thanks to all the people who supported the journey to get to this moment.”
Adjaye’s work spans more than 25 years and he his projects range from private houses, exhibitions and furniture design, through to major cultural buildings and city masterplans.
His career has also always combined practice with teaching in schools of architecture in both the United Kingdom and the United States, including at Harvard and Princeton.
As a student, he won the 1990 RIBA Bronze Medal. He was knighted in the 2017 New Year Honors for services to architecture, following an OBE in 2007.
In 2006 the Idea Store Whitechapel was shortlisted for the RIBA Stirling Prize. Adjaye has also won RIBA International Awards for the Museum of Contemporary Art, Denver (2008) and the Francis Gregory Library and William. O Lockridge/Bellevue Library in Washington, D.C. (both 2013).
His practice, Adjaye Associates, was founded in 2000 and today has studios in Accra, London and New York, with projects across the world.
The practice is most well-known for the Smithsonian National Museum of African American History and Culture, in Washington, D.C. (2016). Other completed projects include Ruby City, an art centre in San Antonio, Texas (2019); the Alara Concept Store in Lagos (2016); the Sugar Hill Mixed Use Development (housing, museum, community facilities and offices) in Harlem, New York (2015); the Aishti Foundation, a mixed use retail and arts center in Beirut, Lebanon (2015); the Moscow School of Management Skolkovo in Russia (2010); the Nobel Peace Centre in Oslo, Norway (2005); Rivington Place arts center in Hackney, London (2007); and the Idea Stores – two community libraries in London (2004, 2005).
Current projects include a new home for The Studio Museum in Harlem, New York, in collaboration with Cooper Robertson; 130 William, a high-rise residential tower in New York’s financial district; the International Finance Corporation in Dakar, Senegal; the Princeton University Art Museum in Princeton, New Jersey, in collaboration with Cooper Robertson; the George Street Sydney Plaza in Sydney, Australia; The Abrahamic Family House, an interfaith complex in Abu Dhabi; Winter Park Library and Events Center in Winter Park, Florida; the U.K. Holocaust Memorial and Learning Centre, London led by Adjaye Associates, with Ron Arad Architects as Memorial Architect, and Gustafson Porter + Bowman as Landscape Architect; the Royal Benin Museum in Benin City, Nigeria; the National Cathedral of Ghana in Accra; and the Thabo Mbeki Presidential Library in Johannesburg, South Africa.