Sir David Frank Adjaye OBE RA (born September 22, 1966) is a Ghanaian-British architect. He is known for designing many notable buildings around the world, including the National Museum of African American History and Culture in Washington, DC, and the Skolkovo Moscow School of Management.
Adjaye was born in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania. The son of a Ghanaian diplomat, he lived in Tanzania, Egypt, Yemen and Lebanon before moving to Britain at the age of nine. Upon graduating with a BA in Architecture from London South Bank University in 1990, he was nominated for the RIBA President’s Medals, and won the RIBA Bronze Medal for the best design project produced at BA level worldwide. He graduated with an MA in 1993 from the Royal College of Art.
In 1993, the same year of graduation, Adjaye won the RIBA Bronze Medal Award, a prize offered for RIBA Part 1 projects, normally won by students who have only completed a bachelor’s degree. Previously a unit tutor at the Architectural Association, he was also a lecturer at the Royal College of Art.
Whitechapel Idea Store
Early works include many residential projects such as Chris Ofili’s house in 1999, Dirty House and Glass House in 2002, and Lorna Simpson’s studio-home in 2006. He then moved onto larger scale projects such as the [Store in Whitechapel, UK] and the [Peace Center] in Oslo, Norway in 2005.
The studio’s first solo exhibition, David Adjaye: Making Public Buildings, was shown at the Whitechapel Gallery in London in January 2006, with Thames and Hudson publishing the catalogue of the same name. This followed their 2005 publication of Adjaye’s first book, David Adjaye Houses.
Other prominent early works include the [Grant Arts Center] and the Stephen Lawrence Center in 2007 
National Museum of African American History and Culture, Washington D.C. USA
Adjaye was selected to design the [of Contemporary Art Denver] which opened in 2007. The building, Adjaye’s first museum commission, was designed to minimize boundaries between the exterior spaces of the city and the interior galleries of the museum. Hidden skylights fill the interior spaces with natural light, and large windows look out on the city streets. The building has five galleries as well as dedicated education spaces, a shop, library and rooftop cafe.
He won a competition to design the [School of Management Skolkovo] which was completed in 2010.  Rejecting the traditional campus-style, the building is designed as one form to encourage student interaction.
He designed two new neighborhood libraries in Washington DC: the Francis A. Gregory Neighborhood Library and the William O. Lockridge / Bellevue which opened in 2012. The award-winning libraries are celebrated for being community beacons. 
In 2015, the [Foundation], a mixed art gallery and retail space, opened in Beruit, Lebanon. The gallery space is over 40,000 square feet. Adjaye’s design marries art viewing with shopping, two seemingly conflicting experiences.
On 15 April 2009, Adjaye was selected lead architect for the team of architects, which includes the Freelon Group, Davis Brody Bond and SmithGroup, to design the new $540 million National Museum of African American History and Culture, a Smithsonian Institution museum, on the National Mall in Washington, D.C. The museum opened in the fall of 2016 and was named “the cultural event of the year” by the New York times. His design features a crown motif from Yoruba sculpture.
In 2007, artist Linda Pace reached out to Adjaye to design a contemporary art center for her art collection shortly before she passed away from breast cancer that year . Ruby City, located in San Antonio, TX, opened in 2019.
Exterior of the Francis A. Gregory Neighborhood Library.
Alongside his international commissions, Adjaye’s work spans exhibitions, private homes and furniture. He built homes for the designer Alexander McQueen, artist Jake Chapman, photographer Juergen Teller, actor Ewan McGregor, and artists Tim Noble and Sue Webster. For artist Chris Ofili, he designed a new studio and a beach house in Port of Spain, Trinidad.
Adjaye is also known for his collaborations with contemporary artists on installations and exhibitions. He worked with Ofili to create an environment for The Upper Room, which was later acquired by Tate Britain and caused a nationwide media debate. Adjaye collaborated with artist Olafur Eliasson to create a light installation, Your black horizon, at the 2005 Venice Biennale. He has also worked on the art project Sankalpa with director Shekhar Kapur. In May 2019, the Ghana Freedom Pavilion – designed by David – was inaugurated at the 58th Venice Art Biennale . He also designed the [Venice Art Biennale] with the late curator Okwui Enwezor; the River Reading Room for the Gwangju Biennale; and the Sclera Pavilion for the London Design Festival. 
Adjaye coauthored two seasons of BBC’s Dreamspaces television series and hosts a BBC radio programme. In June 2005, he presented the documentary Building Africa: Architecture of a Continent. In 2008, he participated in Manifesta 7 and the Gwangju Biennale. Making Place: The Architecture of David Adjaye was on display at the Art Institute of Chicago from September 2015 to January 2016.
Recent works include The Webster in Los Angeles, California (2020) , Mole House in London, UK (2019) , Ruby City in San Antonio, Texas (2019)  , McCarter Switching Station in Newark, New Jersey (2018), Sugar Hill Mixed-Use Development in Harlem, New York (2015) , Alara Concept Store in Lagos, Nigeria (2015), Aïshti Foundation in Beirut, Lebanon (2015).
In 2015, he was commissioned to design a new home for the Studio Museum in Harlem.
In March 2018, Adjaye Associates’ designs for the National Cathedral of Ghana were unveiled by Ghanaian president Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo.
In September 2020, David Adjaye unveiled his designs for the Princeton University Art Museum. 
Adjaye established his practice in 2000 as Adjaye Associates. The firm now operates globally with offices in Accra, London, and New York and has completed projects in Europe, North America, the Middle East, Asia, and Africa.
He was the first Louis Kahn visiting professor at the University of Pennsylvania, and was the Kenzo Tange Professor in Architecture at Harvard Graduate School of Design. In addition, he is a RIBA Chartered Member, an AIA Honorary Fellow, a Foreign Honorary Member of the American Academy of Arts and Letters, and a Senior Fellow of the Design Futures Council. He is a member of the Advisory Council of the Barcelona Institute of Architecture and also serves as member of the Advisory Boards of the Barcelona Institute of Architecture and the LSE Cities Programme.
In 2014, Adjaye married Ashley Shaw-Scott. Chris Ofili was his best man.
Adjaye has also worked on numerous collaborative projects with his brother Peter Adjaye, a musician.
Awards and honours
In 2006, Adjaye was shortlisted for the Stirling Prize for the Whitechapel Idea Store, built on the remains of a 1960s mall. He was appointed Officer of the Order of the British Empire (OBE) in 2007 for services to British architecture. In 2016 he received the Massachusetts Institute of Technology’s McDermott award, a $100,000 prize for excellence in the arts. Adjaye was knighted in the 2017 New Year Honours for services to architecture. In 2018, Adjaye received the Washington University International Humanities Medal. In 2019, he was a member of the Prix Versailles World Judges Panel. In October 2020 Adjaye was announced as the Royal Gold Medal winner for 2021 , awarded annually by the Royal Institute of British Architects on behalf of the British monarch, in recognition of an individual’s or group’s substantial contribution to international architecture.
• RIBA Bronze Medal for Architecture Students – 1990
• Design Futures Council Senior Fellow
• Design Miami/ Designer of the Year Award – 2011
• Powerlist: Britain’s Most Influential Black Person – 2012
• Eugene McDermott Award in the Arts at MIT – 2016
• TIME Magazine’s 100 Most Influential People – 2017
• Ghana Legacy Honors Impact in Architecture Award
• AJ100 Contribution to the Profession Award – 2018
• Thomas Jefferson Memorial Award – 2018
• Louis I. Khan Memorial Award – 2018
• Isamu Noguchi Award from the Noguchi Museum. – 2020
• Royal Gold Medal – 2021 
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This article contains embedded lists that may be poorly defined, unverified or indiscriminate. Please help to clean it up to meet Wikipedia’s quality standards. Where appropriate, incorporate items into the main body of the article. (February 2016)
• Official website
• Photo Gallery: David Adjaye
• Alexandra Lange, “Don’t Call David Adjaye a Starchitect” (interview), New York Magazine, 15 July 2007
• Icon interview (2005)
• BBC Radio 3 interview
• Whitechapel exhibition (2006)
• Whitechapel exhibition review
• Hugh Pearman, “David Adjaye meets Alfred Nobel in Oslo: architecture for peace”. First published in The Sunday Times, London, 24 July 2005 as “Chamber of secrets”.
• Tom Dyckhoff, “Behind The Facade”, Guardian Unlimited-, 8 February 2003.