The Royal Gold Medal is devoted to those that have spent their lives within the advancement of architecture, the award is personally approved by the Queen. The award is one of the prestigious honours under RIBA (Royal Institute of British Architects)

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Sir David Adjaye ©

“It’s incredibly humbling and a great honor to have my peers recognize the work I have developed with my team and its contribution to the field over the past 25 years,” said Adjaye, who founded Adjaye Associates in 2000.

“Architecture, for me, has always been about the creation of beauty to edify all peoples around the world equally and to contribute to the evolution of the craft, The social impact of this discipline has been and can still be the inner spirit within the experimentation that informs my practice”, he added.

He has been involved in many projects that have been recognized for their advanced thought and concepts. The Smithsonian National Museum of African American History and Culture, The Ideas Store Whitechapel in London are a number of them. Adjaye Associates is working on the National Cathedral of Ghana in Accra where the practice has its studios.

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Sir David Adjaye ©

“David’s contribution to architecture and style globally is already astounding, and I am excited that we’ve much more of it to look forward to,” said RIBA (Royal Institute of British Architects) president Alan Jones.

“I believe his both practicing and teaching in schools of architecture has significantly enriched his work. His artistic and social vision has created public projects that completely demonstrate the civic potential of architecture – fostering empathy, identity, and pride.”

Adjaye has worked on projects like Hackney’s Dirty House and housing projects like Sugar Hill. This was an affordable housing development in Harlem. A 66-story skyscraper site is additionally to be inbuilt Manhattan.

The architect has always been vocal about his opinion on racism and global climate change, which has been seen globally. His designs have proven to be a reflection of his strong beliefs and opinions regarding the same. 

“I think it’s important for architecture to be one of the devices that’s not about propagating fiction about the history and therefore the way history is written,” says Sir David Adjaye.
“When your monuments contradict the narratives that are projected, it breaks the illusion,” says Sir David Adjaye.

Adjaye has honored his history by designing monuments dedicated to a number of the foremost important black figures. These structures include the concrete memorial pavilion for trumpeter and anti-apartheid activist Hugh Masekela in Johannesburg. Adjaye is working on the memorial in Brixton which is dedicated to Cherry Groce who was a black woman and was shot in her home by police in a raid in 1985.

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National Museum of African American History and Culture  ©

In the memory of the young black aspiring architect murdered during a racially motivated attack, Adjaye has built the Stephen Lawrence Centre in London.
Adjaye has strongly stood by his strong sense of opinions towards black lives and has progressively contributed to their benefit through architecture. His architecture isn’t led on tangible advancement but it also aspires to succeed in bent the intangible aspect through architectural spaces and programs. His work is humane and has a sentimental aspect.

Over 25 years of practice, he has many international recognitions due to his series of groundbreaking projects. His scope of works has been a mix of personal houses, exhibition spaces, furniture design also as major cultural buildings, and even masterplans. With a good array of scale in his projects from macro to micro, Sir David Adjaye has successfully been ready to initiate a worldwide influence through his works. He has proven to be one of the sought-after architects in modern times.

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Ruby City ©

His great works and thoughts have made him a recipient of this award that also includes famous architects like Frank Llyod Wright, Norman Foster, Frank Gehry, Neave Brown, Sheila O’Donnell, John Tuomey, Peter Zumthor, and Nicholas Grimshaw.

Grafton Architects received Royal Gold Medal last year. This practice was founded by Shelley McNamara and Yvonne Farrell, which also made them the primary all-women pair to win this Royal Gold Medal award in its entire history.


Saili Sawantt is a 22-year-old Architect (well, almost!), apart from architecture and interior designing being her profession, Writing is what she treats as her passion. She has been running her blog for almost four years and is a voracious reader. Along with this, she has a deep interest in pursuing Architectural Journalism as a profession.