A graduate of the Royal College of Art, David Adjaye started a small practice in 1994. Over the ensuing five years he built a reputation through reconstructing cafes, bars and private homes. Rowan Moore, architecture critic of the Evening Standard wrote “David Adjaye has an artist’s clarity of concept.
In June 2000 he reformed his studio as Adjaye Associates with 8 employees and the firm has since expanded to over thirty in London with offices in Berlin and New York.
Elektra House, completed in 2000 was described by Deyan Sudjic as a “startling original house in White chapel (which) has breathed new life into an architectural species that looked to be extinct; the one-off house that doesn’t cost a fortune.” In June 2001, Adjaye Associates beat several high profile practices to win the Idea Store competition to design two new-build libraries in the London Borough of Tower Hamlets. Part of a programme based on a new type of information and learning provision being pioneered by the London Borough of Tower Hamlets, the Idea Store was selected for an exhibition that highlighted 100 projects that are changing the world at the VIII Venice Biennale of Architecture 2002. The Idea Store, along with the residential project Dirty House was included in the Sao Paolo Bienal, Brazil, in September 2003.The Idea Store was featured again in the Venice Biennale of Architecture in 2004, won the national accessibility award from RIB Ain 2005 and was shortlisted for the Stirling Prize in 2006.
In September 2001, the studiowas awarded the commission to design the Bernie Grant Centre in Tottenham, which realises the dream of the late MP and civil rights leader Bernie Grant. The £10 million village includes a 300-seat theatre, a performance space, café, dance and theatre studios, creative business work spaces and a new civic square which regenerates the area and opened in October 2007.
The Nobel Peace Centre in Oslo opened in June 2005 and continues to receive global accolades. In October 2007 Rivington Place, a new visual arts building for Iniva and Autograph ABP in Shoreditch, London and the Stephen LawrenceCentre also in London opened to the public. In April 2004, Adjaye Associates received its first public commission in the United States; designing the new home for the Museum of Contemporary Art/Denver which gained gold LEED certification.
The practice recently completed a newmarket hall inWakefield,Yorkshire, and is currently working on the design of the Moscow School of Management/SKOLKOVO, two new public libraries inWashington DC, an affordable housing scheme in Harlem, NY as well as further projects in Europe, theUnited States, India, South East Asia and Africa. As part of Freelon Adjaye Bond/SmithGroup, the practice is designing the National Museum of African American History and Culture for the Smithsonian Institution.