David Adjaye-Young, Gifted & Black Star- Africans on the Rise

When many think about the world of high profile architecture & architects, African names rarely come to mind, but David Adjaye, a Tanzanian-born British architect of Ghanaian descent has single handedly changed the scope of that vision & thinking globally-from Europe to Africa, to America. With a superb A-List clientele from the Nobel Foundation to Brad Pitt, Ewan McGregor and Alexander McQueen, Adjaye can’t seem to live down his given moniker of “starchitect”! David Adjaye is undisputedly one of the biggest shining stars in the game of architecture & his franchise team keeps winning!

What do Manhattan’s most radical new residence, D.C.’s National Museum of African-American History, and the Ghanaian home for a Nobel Peace Prize winner have in common? All were designed by David Adjaye. Lindemann, a private investor and a son of billionaire George Lindemann, had purchased a wreck of a carriage house on East 77th Street with the intent of tearing it down, leaving in place only the building’s landmarked facade. “We wanted to push the envelope of what was possible within a little piece of New York City,” he says. While the couple had their pick of big names for the job, they chose David Adjaye, a Tanzanian-born British architect of Ghanaian descent, then a rising star in the UK but little known anywhere else. “It was a bit of an experiment,” Lindemann says. Adjaye, who was working on Denver’s Museum of Contemporary Art, hadn’t yet unveiled a major building in the U.S. To Lindemann and Dayan, though, that was part of his appeal: He was innovative, a new name, and, above all, had serious art-world cred, having made his mark designing gritty, luminous homes and studios for a number of the artists that the couple collected. (Adjaye was also a fixture at London’s Frieze Art Fair and the Venice Biennale and had collaborated on pavilions for artists Chris Ofili and Olafur Eliasson.)…” Read More

David Adjaye is part of the new era of global Africans AKA ALA’s (Africans Living Abroad) who are making their mark on the global scene  & putting a spotlight on the talents of Africa in unconventional ventures & achievements. While serving high profile clientele David Adjaye has also put his mark on the future renaissance of Harlem’s famed Sugar Hill and the preservation of  global Africa & Ghana’s history.

David Adjaye may be the only person on earth who has visited Rwanda for its buildings. The British architect has just returned from Kigali, the capital, where he shot pictures of mosques, churches, parks, and luxury villas. It was the final stop on his quest to photograph every capital in Africa, a 10-year odyssey culminating in Urban Africa, a new exhibit at London’s Design Museum (through Sept. 5). “[The project] came out of retracing my childhood,” says Adjaye, the Tanzanian-born son of a Ghanaian diplomat. “I’ve always had a strong sense of the continent not just as a romantic idea but as a physical memory. As an architect, I wanted to understand those places in an urban context and see how they have influenced my psyche.” Now it’s Adjaye’s turn to return the favor. The 43-year-old, who recently won the commission to build the $500 million Smithsonian National Museum of African History and Culture on Washington’s Mall, is at the forefront of a group of African designers returning to oversee the continent’s building boom.For his part, Adjaye is building a college in his native Ghana and a community center in Johannesburg. “And I’m looking at working in Algeria and Senegal,” he says. Other architects, including Burkina Faso’s Francis Kere and Ghana’s Joe Addo, have returned home to join in the building bonanza, constructing schools, universities, and homes. “A lot of us trained in the West,” he says. “[But there’s also] a new generation of practitioners trained on the continent who are creating new energy.”  READ MORE

David Adjayestruggled like many entrepreneurs bordering on the brink of bankruptcy, but he believed in his talents enough to continue to push the envelope even when the hard times hit, in his determination to do it his way. With several books like  David Adjaye :Houses & major architectural projects from America, to Europe to Africa in toe, there is no stopping this dynamic creative in literally leaving his mark on the world one building project at a time.

American architecture has been rather devoid of photogenic Young Turks in recent years—the architect with the most buzz at the moment is Philip Johnson, yet again—but in the U.K., the designated star is David Adjaye. The Ghanaian, Royal College of Art–trained architect, 40, built his reputation designing tough, opaque houses in rapidly gentrifying London neighborhoods: masklike gray façades on the outside, lots of open space within, for cool artistic types like Ewan McGregor, Jake Chapman, and Sue Webster and Tim Noble. He’s since moved up in the world. In June, he was awarded an Order of the British Empire by the queen for services to architecture, following several public works—like his Idea Stores, which have shaken up the notion of the library, and his Nobel Peace Center in Oslo. And now he’s coming to America…” READ MORE

David Adjaye’s new affordable housing building for Sugar Hill, Harlem is expected to strengthen the community with its mixed program on the base level and impvero the poverty-stricken neighborhood by providing quality housing for 124 families. In addition to apartments that will house some of the city’s poorest residents, a new educational, cultural and arts space will also be incorporated into the scheme. Resting at the bottom of Adjaye’s stacked and shifted volumes, the 18,000 sqf Faith Ringgold Children’s Museum of Art and Storytelling will hold a permanent exhibition of Ringgold’s quilt art in addition to temporary exhibitions. As bdonline.uk reported, “Ringgold, who grew up in the area, has developed the museum in order to provide local children with early education through art. The museum will, in particular, attempt to foster pride in Harlem’s own artistic legacy.” Read More

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