Adjaye Associates was established in June 2000 by founder and principal architect, Sir David Adjaye OBE. Receiving ever-increasing worldwide attention, the firm has offices in London, New York and completed work in Europe, North America, the Middle East, Asia, and Africa. Two of the practice’s largest commissions to date are the design of the Smithsonian Institution’s National Museum of African American History and Culture on the National Mall in Washington D.C. and the Moscow School of Management (SKOLKOVO). Further projects by Adjaye Associates range in scale from private houses, exhibitions, and temporary pavilions to major arts centers, civic buildings, and masterplans.
1. Smithsonian NMAAHC
Client: Smithsonian Institution
Team: Freelon Adjaye Bond / SmithGroup (FAB)
Total Area: 420,000 sqft
Contract Value: $540m
A Smithsonian Institution museum located on the National Mall in Washington, D.C., in the United States. It was established in December 2003 and opened in September 2016 in a ceremony led by President Barack Obama. The design of the architectural scrim which surrounds the building was changed in September 2012. The proposed building itself was a box-like structure. The three-part corona of the building’s design was created by a structure only minimally attached to the building. The exterior of this structure, whose frames lean outward to create the corona, consisted of a thin screen or “scrim” perforated by geometrical patterns based on historic iron grilles found in African-American communities in Charleston, South Carolina, and New Orleans, Louisiana.
2. Latvian Museum of Contemporary Art
Location: New Hanza City
Client: Latvian Museum of Contemporary Art Foundation
Total Area: 7,000 m2
Contract Value: €30m
The proposal is for a building with an angular roofscape, referencing the traditional wooden houses of domestic Baltic architecture, where steeply pitched roofs are designed to support heavy snowfall.
These tilted forms will incorporate north-facing glazing, “so that the pure northern light is sculpted into intimate or larger gallery environments”, according to the team.
A sloped plaza will provide a performance area for special events, while a grand concourse inside will feature a cast concrete waffle structure, designed to improve acoustics.
The cultural building will be the first museum of contemporary art to be built in Latvia since the country gained independence. It will showcase art and visual culture from the Baltic Sea region from the 1960s.
3. Moscow School of Management, SKOLKOVO
Client: Moscow School of Management
Total Area: 42,891m2
Contract Value: US$360m
The Moscow School of Management SKOLKOVO is a graduate business school located near Skolkovo, Moscow Oblast, close to Moscow, Russia. The school, founded in 2006, is a joint project between major Russian and international business leaders. Skolkovo campus represents a disk with four different-sized buildings located on its roof. The main building, also known as The Disk, features seven clusters named after the continents and BRIC countries. The Campus has 16 classrooms and 49 rooms for project and group work. Buildings on the roof are a dormitory, a hotel, an administration block. The SKOLKOVO Campus was shortlisted as one of the best Russian buildings of the last decade according to the daily British briefing The Calvert Journalative building and a sports center.The journalists mentioned that the SKOLKOVO Campus building “is reflective of both the rebellious nature of Russian art and the innovation agenda of SKOLKOVO”.
4. Aïshti Foundation
Client: Aïshti Foundation
Total Area: 22,500 sq m
Aïshti is a Lebanese luxury department chain store that sells fashion and clothing. In 2015, Aïshti opened the Aïshti Foundation in Beirut. The building was designed by architect David Adjaye “with a facade of red ceramic tiles, combining a high-end mall and a separate exhibition space.” This unique “juxtaposition of art and shopping” inspired Adjaye and Associates “to create a design for an entirely new typology that would integrate two, often conflicting, worlds,” write the architects in a press release. The building’s shape is a “simple block that has been rotated on one edge so that it appears titled” with the retail space on one side of the building around an atrium, and the galleries on the other side. The façade on the retail portion of the building is solid, with light coming from the atrium, while “the east façade is defined by a single large window, behind which a staircase ascends the galleries, offering a moment where the building connects back to the city.”
5. Proenza Schouler Store
Location: New York
Client: Proenza Schouler
Total Area: 3000sq/ft
Project value: $1,500,000
Proenza Schouler a women’s wear and accessories brand founded in 2002 by designers Jack McCollough and Lazaro Hernandez. Based in New York City, Proenza Schouler is derived from maiden names of the two designers’ mothers: Proenza is the maiden name of Hernandez’s mother, and Schouler is the maiden name of McCollough’s mother.
6. Ozwald Boateng
Client: Ozwald Boateng
Total Area: 6500 sq ft
The concept and strategy were to engage with contemporary and curatorial direction towards which fashion had moved. Rather than simply about buying clothes. Therefore the shop is conceived as a series of environments, shops within shops, each having a different identity. The effect is a diverse set of experiences that communicate the plurality of the brand.
7. San Francisco Shipyard
Location: San Francisco
Client: 5 Point
Total Area: 421 Acres
British firm Adjaye Associates has announced that it will serve as a masterplan architect for the redevelopment of The San Francisco Shipyard neighborhood. The David Adjaye-led studio will work with developer FivePoint to revitalize the waterfront area in the city’s Hunters Point district on the bayside. Earmarked as one of the largest urban developments on the USA’s west coast, the project will involve the construction of both housing and a commercial district. New offices, labs, research facilities will be built among reclaimed heritage buildings and large pockets of public space and sports grounds.
8. Sugar Hill
Location: New York
Client: Broadway Housing Communities
Total Area: 171,000 square feet
The 13-storey, the 124-apartment affordable housing complex designed by Adjaye Associates will be located on W. 155th Street at St. Nicholas Avenue. The practice worked closely with the client and the local community to ensure the design is tied to its history, practical and aesthetic requirements, through a series of workshops and planning meetings. The brief required a modern design complementary to its surrounding environment of Gothic revival row-houses.
The response is a textured slab building, which crowns a 76-foot base that steps back at the ninth floor to create a ten-foot terrace and cantilever on opposite sides. The textured cladding is achieved with rose embossed pre-cast panels, which achieve a textured, ornamental effect. Saw-toothed fenestration fans across both façades, referencing bay windows that are a common feature of the area. These windows also frame 360’s views of New York City including Central Park, One World Trade Centre in Lower Manhattan, the Hudson and Harlem Rivers and the new Yankee Stadium. Terraces are placed on the second, third, ninth, and roof levels. At the base of the building is a Children’s Museum of Art & Storytelling. The 18,036 square feet area has been designed with interactive exhibition and performance spaces and an artist-in-residence studio. The second floor will house a 12,196 square feet, light-filled early childhood education center and offices for BHC are located on the ninth floor. The residences, education center and museum will be accessed from a landscaped public plaza on St. Nicholas Avenue.
9. Dirty House
Client: Private Residence
Total Area: 350m2
Dirty House is a black-painted art studio and apartment building in Shoreditch with a brightly illuminated roof design. The building is a 1930’s warehouse that has been converted to a private residence. The original windows on the ground floor appear to be sealed up but are actually a flush mirrored glass to ensure privacy. While on the top floor a parapet wall conceals the windows for the apartment.The architect removed interior columns and the first level of the store to create a double-height volume for the artists. The chosen materials were industrial, including concrete worktops in the kitchen.
10. 70-73 Piccadilly
Client: Crosstree Real Estate Management LLP
Total Area: 36,546 sqm
The mixed-use complex designed by Adjaye Associates comprises of retail, hotel and luxury apartments. 70-73 Piccadilly is a transformation of a substantial urban block of several disused post-war buildings. The £600 million projects, known as One Berkeley Street, involves the redevelopment of properties at 70-73 Piccadilly, 1 and 3 Berkeley Street and 43-48 Dover Street, creating a 10-story building facing one of London’s most prestigious and best-known hotels.
11. Gwangju Pavilion
For the Gwangju Biennale Foundation, architect David Adjaye and writer Taiye Selasi have developed a ‘folly’ – the Gwangju River Reading Room. As its name suggests, the pavilion is positioned on the embankment of the Gwangju river, connecting the street level above with the grassy flood planes used as a seasonal park. Adjaye was drawn to the project by the opportunity to collaborate with a like-minded novelist.
12. Ofili Upper Room
Client: Chris Ofili
Chris Ofili’s The Upper Room consists of thirteen paintings displayed in an environment especially designed by the Adjaye Associates. When it was first publicly exhibited in 2002, critics commented on the chapel-like qualities of the space and its lighting. The arrangement of twelve canvases flanking a thirteenth larger one suggests Christ and his Apostles, and the arrangement has an extraordinary sensory effect.
13. Form Heft Material
This exhibition captures a significant moment in Adjaye’s vibrant practice. Divided into chapters, it begins with Adjaye Associates’ smallest-scale projects, such as designs for furniture and pavilions, then explores designs for private houses, followed by public buildings, including libraries, museums, markets, civic centers, and cultural institutions. It concludes with an examination of urban initiatives and research projects. Providing insights into a robust career, this comprehensive mid-career survey promotes a deeper understanding of an architect who aims to create buildings of profound social and cultural significance and meaning.
14. La Biennale, 56th International Art Exhibition: All the World’s Futures
A temporary pavilion designed by firm Adjaye Associates is housing a selection of works for the 56th International Art Exhibition, “All the World’s Futures,” in Venice. Curated by OkwuiEnwezor, the exhibition explores the numerous ways in which art can be experienced in “an unfolding of typologies.” Adjaye Associate’s temporary museum seeks to parallel Enwezor’s curatorial vision and is nestled within a 316-meter-long, 16th-century ship-building warehouse in the Arsenale district. The exhibition space spans the full length of the Corderie building, whose interior is divided into a series of chambers. Envisioned to be ‘multi-nodal and multi-sensory’, the chambers range from the intimate to the expansive, presenting a variety of spatial conditions that mirror the theme of the exhibition.
15. Urban Africa Touring Exhibition
A temporary pavilion designed by firm Adjaye Associates is housing a selection of works for the 56th International Art Exhibition, “All the World’s Futures,” in Venice. Curated by Okwui Enwezor, the exhibition explores the numerous ways in which art can be experienced in “an unfolding of typologies.” Adjaye Associate’s temporary museum seeks to parallel Enwezor’s curatorial vision and is nestled within a 316-meter-long, 16th-century ship-building warehouse in the Arsenale district. The exhibition space spans the full length of the Corderie building, whose interior is divided into a series of chambers. Envisioned to be ‘multi-nodal and multi-sensory’, the chambers range from the intimate to the expansive, presenting a variety of spatial conditions that mirror the theme of the exhibition.