Established in 2000, by principal architect, Adjaye, a British architect known for his remarkable works around the world. The firm has studios in Accra, London, and New York and is known for its famous projects like the Moscow school of management and Smithsonian Institution’s National Museum of African American History and Culture. Other projects include pavilions, exhibitions, and private houses with a great sense of materiality and color palette that offers an enriching experience with space.
Here are 15 iconic projects by Adjaye Associates:
1. MOSCOW SCHOOL OF MANAGEMENT, SKOLCOVO
Found in 2005, the research and teaching institution is in situated a wooden valley. The founders wanted to turn the whole place around to advanced technology park. The main functions of this building are accommodated into distinct volumes. Although the size of the disc is large, it reduces the size of the footprint and includes gathering spaces that bring views and light to the inside. The cluster of buildings above the disc stands out and gives a different view from all directions. Using a bridge structure for the residential building, the well-being center rests on the structural grid of the disc.
2. TURNING THE 7TH CORNER
A collaborative project between artists, Sue Webster, Tim Noble, and Adjaye turning the 7th corner is a project open to the public in Berlin in the De Spiegel print factory. The location of this project is heavily influenced by the European art world and its history. The visitors are drawn to the light at the end of the tunnel-like space and get completely immersed with the honest method of construction and materials.
3. SPECERE KIELDER
Created for the cyclists as a shelter and as a view to the picturesque outline of the dead-water fall, Spercere is oriented in a way that reveals the scale of the shelter only when the visitor enters. Designed as separate portal farms with seating for 10 people, they provide a structure for the shelter. The structure has mainly used timber which blends with the rest of the site and includes a portal oriented to maximize views to the south.
4. SMITHSONIAN NMAAHC
Washington DC, 2016
Located near the Washington Monument on Constitution Avenue, Adjaye wanted to create purposeful relationship respecting the African heritage. A five-storey structure with a subtle appearance in the landscape, the design is set on 3 main foundations: the building shaped as ‘corona’, bronze latticework, and the building’s extension into the landscape. The building enveloped with the bronze filigree has been associated with the African American relationship. A micro-climate has been created by the tilted porch roof for protection from the hot summer sun. Visitors are captivated by the free spaces inside the building where there is an infusion of the material and natural light.
5. GWANGJU PAVILION
The pavilion constructed near the Gwangju River in memory of the 200 students killed by the army for carrying out peaceful protests is a connection between the street level and the river.The pavilion stores 200 books for each student and are split over two levels. Made of timber and concrete each book is stored in an individual slot that is visible as distinct elements. The timber structure that rests on the concrete pillars arches over and joins at the center.
6. SUGAR HILL
New York, 2013
A mixed-use development in Manhattan features a cultural institution, education programs, and affordable housing. Workshops were conducted to closely work with the client. A textured slab building with bay windows that features a beautiful view of New York City; a landscaped public park, education center, offices, art studios, interactive exhibition spaces have been incorporated into this residential complex.
7. SAN FRANSICO SHIPYARD
San Francisco, California
West coast’s largest urban development affords an extraordinary and radical working community. The development houses a luxurious neighborhood, commercial offices, research labs, and heritage buildings. The SF Shipyards naval ancestry and its 150 year old rural origins are maintained for the development while constructing the new infrastructure to maximize access to San Francisco’s characteristic waterfront.
8. DIRTY HOUSE
The house occupies the remnants of a public house. To create a parapet on the upper floor, the walls have been extended upwards to alter the void and solid for the openings in the building. The owners wanted a living and a working space that did not provoke any tedious feelings which is why the two spaces are separated. As a tinted reflective glass has been used for the windows, much of the privacy is maintained. A sense of openness has been implemented in the way the living room connects to the main bedroom as both spaces make use of the roof light to show the inner depth of the section.
9. RUBY CITY
San Antonio, Texas, 2019
A gallery dedicated to storing works of Linda Pace Foundation’s collection of paintings, installations, and sculptures, it is first of a kind to present contemporary and post-modern art in San Antonio. Influenced largely by Linda’s drawing, ‘Ruby City’, the building is an array of gallery volumes that portrays the spirit of her life and work. The exterior has been clad with precast concrete panels of deep red and mica that gleams in the light. A dramatic roof of sloping angles overlooks a sculpture garden and Chris Park.
10. AISHTI FOUNDATION
Located in Central Beirut on a Brownfield coastal site, the Aishti Foundation has used the concept of creating a dialogue between retail and gallery space as well as creating a homogenous interior. The topmost floor features a striking view of the sea and the city of Beirut. A simple block form, the building is rotated on one part to create a tilted appearance. The retail space is contained in a solid façade that receives light from the atrium and the gallery space connects with the city because of the views. The building appears to be contained in a louvered façade with many layers behind it.
Los Angeles, 2020
A concrete pink façade that has been cantilevered; the building was developed adjacent to the Beverly Centre in Los Angeles. The Pacific light of California augments the use of saturated colours. A panoramic view made of curved glass at the entrance dissolves the boundary between the retail and the public place outside. The material and colour palette continues into the interior that amplifies the space.
12. OZWALD BOATENG
A flagship store on Savile Row, Ozwald Boateng is a retail store and a gallery with accessories to display. Adjaye wanted to blend the curatorial and contemporary style of fashion. He wanted customers and visitors to have an engaging experience than making it only about purchasing and leaving. Each shop within the store has its individual identity with a different experience.
Adjaye’s installation creates a relationship between two types of construction, a specific and selective method, and a generalized method. A cubic volume gallery space with concrete ceiling and floor confines a lapped construction timber pavilion. The plan’s central axis includes two intersecting triangles. The source of illumination comes from a back-lit vista as the gallery has no windows. Light creates alluring shadows encouraging fluid perception. The timber construction reflects the waterside structure and piers.
London design festival, 2008
Located in Southbank arts complex, the pavilion was inspired by the eye which is the receptive organ for visual perception in the human body. Open to the public throughout the day, this oval-shaped pavilion provides intriguing views of the exterior. The openings of the pavilion allow the visitor to view the exterior.
15. OFILI UPPER ROOM
An installation created by collaborating with Chris Ofili, an artist in East London, Adjaye wanted to draw the visitors to the inside by creating an experiential environment and bringing a spiritual dimension to the project. Ofili’s work is presented in a dramatically lit space where the paintings glow in the semi-dark space. The visitors are challenged with a long room in this semi-dark space.