David Adjaye is, without a doubt, one of the greatest architects of our time. The British-born visionary has, thus far, had an illustrious career in architecture and product design that’s spanned over 20 years, and there’s no sign of him slowing down.
One of his many stand-out projects is the Lagos-based luxury lifestyle boutique Alara (read more about this space in our May 2016 issue), which shows his commitment to creating structures of social and cultural significance. We’re huge fans of this and many other of his incredible works, and we round up a few of our favourites below.
One of David’s most recent projects, the grand Aishti Foundation combines art galleries with a luxury shopping centre on a coastal site in Beirut. The building is a wonder of form and structure, with a multi-layered louvred exterior and an uber polished, contemporary interior.
skolkovo moscow school of management
This teaching and research institution in Russia is a wonderful feat of architecture. Four long structures balance on a circular disc that hovers above the ground, and because of the unusual composition of the building, it looks completely different from different angles. All elements of the school are kept within a single multi-part structure so that residents don’t have to brave the cold of a Russian winter to move between sections.
washington skin and skeleton chairs
Part of the furniture collection that David created for Knoll, the Washington Skin and Washington Skeleton chairs are sculptural beauties designed to mirror the shape of a person sitting. While the Skin is a solid nylon structure, its inversion, the Skeleton, features a geometric lattice made from aluminium.
nobel peace center
To create this centre as it is today, David was tasked with merging an existing structure with new frameworks while working in interactive technology and coordinating light and colour to create a visitor experience that does justice to the work of the Nobel Peace Prize programme. Anyone who’s stepped through his perforated free-standing entrance canopy will likely admit that he’s done a phenomenal job.
the adjaye textile collection
Also the result of a collaboration with Knoll, David’s debut range of textiles includes upholstery, drapery and one wall covering with patterns and colours inspired by the cultural heartbeat of various cities across Africa, including Cairo, Lagos, Dakar and Harare. The architect has been quoted as saying that his objective is for the fabrics to ‘dispel stereotypical images of the continent’.
still to come
We’re closely watching a number of David Adjaye projects that are still underway and can’t wait to see the results after completion. These include the National Museum of African American History and Culture, which is set to open in Washington DC in September 2016 after 13 years of construction; the Mass Extinction Monitoring Observatory on the Isle of Portland, a spiraling stone structure that will pay homage to the extinct species of the world; and Hallmark House in Joburg, which David and team are reinventing into a multimillion-rand residential, health and leisure development.