Son of a Ghanaian diplomat, David Adjaye is a British national born in the year 1966 in the Tanzanian City of Dar es Salaam. He moved to Britain at the age of 9. He is currently well known and equally respected the world over in the architectural field. Adjaye earned his BA from South Bank University, London in 1990 and M.Arch from Royal College of Art in 1993.
Immediately after college, Adjaye started working on small projects including designing the home and studio of his friend, the renowned painter and friend, Chris Ofili and the Soba Noodle Bar in Soho London. These minor jobs quickly showcased his expertise and he developed a solid list of top clientele such as Ewan McGregor, the actor, and Alexander McQueen. In 1994, he established a practice with William Russell in North London called Adjaye and Russell that ran until the year 2000.
According to Adjaye, he does not believe in designing just for appearance sake, he loves working with a context that gives him room to create something new. An example where this principle can be seen is the Elektra House in East London. In contrast to the brick houses in this neighbourhood, the Elektra House is windowless and with a resin coated plywood exterior.
Among his notable architectural achievement includes Rivington Place, Skolkovo Moscow School of Management, Whitechapel Idea Store, Nobel Peace Centre, Oslo and the Contemporary Art Museum in Denver. More current design includes the construction of Washington DC’s $500m National Museum of African American History and Culture. David has recently unveiled a £100m Hackney Fashion hub to transform part of Hackney central into a mecca of shopping luxury. He has also won several accolades notably Design Miami Designer of the Year (2011), Britain’s Most Influential Black Person (2012) and Order of the British Empire (OBE) from the Queen in 2007 for his architectural contributions to society.