Sir David Adjaye OBE is an award-winning Ghanaian-British architect known to infuse his artistic sensibilities and ethos for community-driven projects. His ingenious use of materials, bespoke designs and visionary sensibilities have set him apart as one of the leading architects of his generation. In 2000, David founded his own practice, Adjaye Associates, which today operates globally, with studios in Accra, London, and New York taking on projects that span the globe.
The firm’s work ranges from private houses, bespoke furniture collections, product design, exhibitions, and temporary pavilions to major arts centers, civic buildings, and master plans. His largest project to date, The National Museum of African American History & Culture in Washington, DC opened on the National Mall in Washington DC in 2016 and was named Cultural Event of the Year by The New York Times.
1199 SEIU United Healthcare Workers East | New York
The Public Member Spaces for the new headquarters of the 1199SEIU— the largest health care union in the United States— is a project that aims to embody the principles, ethos and achievements of its tenant. With a galvanizing history since its founding in 1932, the project holds the spirit of the union which works to organize and efficiently consolidate all operations under one roof. As a space of social justice, where Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. himself referred to the union as “the authentic conscience of the labor movement”, the design concept is born out of the engaged and politically active community of 1199SEIU.
Aïshti Foundation | Beirut
The Aïshti Foundation is a mixed-use complex that includes fashion boutiques, a curated bookshop, restaurants, cafes, a spa and a rooftop bar. Facing onto an enhanced seaside promenade— established through land reclamation and the insertion of a playful, undulating landscaping strategy— the site itself creates a welcoming appeal that draws visitors inside. The juxtaposition of art and shopping presented the practice with the challenge to design an entirely new typology that would integrate two, often conflicting, worlds. The concept, therefore, established a lively architectural dialogue.
UK Holocaust Memorial & Learning Center | London
Located next to the Houses of Parliament in Westminster, the new UK Holocaust Memorial will honor the six million Jewish people who were murdered in the Holocaust, and all other victims of Nazi persecution, including Roma, gay and disabled people. Its co-located Learning Centre will contextualize the Memorial above and use the stories and facts of the Holocaust to explore antisemitism, extremism, Islamophobia, racism, homophobia and other forms of hatred and prejudice in society today. From its location next to Parliament, it will ask questions about the role of society and its institutions in encouraging respect for others and preventing hatred.
130 William | New York
130 William is the firm’s first high-rise residential tower in the United States. Rising 800 feet, the 66-story luxury condominium is an elegant insertion into the dense Manhattan cityscape, carving a distinctive silhouette within the city’s iconic skyline. Conceived as a vertical microcity, 130 William’s program includes 242 residences, extensive two floors of retail, a health club, fitness center, a movie theater, outdoor terraces, a rooftop observatory deck and a new public plaza park — all of which support the building’s residential community and work to redefine the possibility of the vertical urban neighborhood.
George Street Plaza Building | Sydney
Rooted in lost history, this is a project about the meaning of place, heritage and identity. An attempt to uncover, layer, and celebrate the Eora origins of this part of coastal Sydney, the project seeks the reconciliation of cultures and defining identity in an ever-changing world. This reconciliation of difference lies at the heart of the proposal and aims to articulate and establish dialogue around the complex relationship colonizers have with their indigenous communities. Inspired by simple unitary forms and place-making in Aboriginal culture, Adjaye Associates imagine the multifunctional community hub and plaza as a ‘found place’ based around the notion of the shelter, a symbolic respite away from the busy streetscape that is discovered and dissolves through light.
Abrahamic Family House | Abu Dhabi
The Abrahamic Family House will be a collection of three religious spaces: a mosque, a synagogue and a church, all of which will sit upon a secular visitor pavilion. The house will serve as a community for inter-religious dialogue and exchange, nurturing the values of peaceful co-existence and acceptance among different beliefs, nationalities and cultures. Within each of the houses of worship, visitors will have the opportunity to observe religious services, listen to holy scripture, and experience sacred rituals. The fourth space — not affiliated with any specific religion — will serve as a center for all people of goodwill to come together as one. The community will also offer educational and event-based programming.