We have been giving special attention to the AD Top 100 Interior Designers 2017, featured by the acclaimed Architectural Digest and the highlighted designer of today is the renowned Adjaye Associates. Adjaye Associates was established in June 2000 by founder and principal architect, 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 range in scale from private houses, exhibitions, and temporary pavilions to major arts centres, civic buildings, and masterplans. Renowned for an eclectic material and colour palette and a capacity to offer a rich civic experience, the buildings differ in form and style, yet are unified by their ability to generate new typologies and to reference a wide cultural discourse.
Completed works include: the regenerative Morning Lane Arches retail corridor in Hackney, London (2016); Sugar Hill museum and housing development in Harlem, New York (2015); the Aishti Foundation arts and shopping complex in Beirut, Lebanon (2015); Alara Concept Store in Lagos, Nigeria (2014); Marian Goodman Gallery, London (2014); the Ethelbert Cooper Gallery of African and African American Art at the Hutchins Centre, Harvard University (2014); two neighbourhood libraries in Washington DC (2012); the Stephen Lawrence Centre in London (2007); the Museum of Contemporary Art in Denver (2007); Rivington Place Gallery in London (2007); The Nobel Peace Centre in Oslo (2005); and the Idea Stores in Tower Hamlets, London (2004 and 2005) – two pioneering community libraries in London’s Tower Hamlets.
Some current projects include: One Berkeley Street, a £600 million mixed-use residential redevelopment in London’s prestigious Piccadilly area; a new home for The Studio Museum in Harlem, New York; offices for the International Financial Corporation in Dakar, Senegal; a gallery for the Linda Pace Foundation in San Antonio, TX; and a regenerative cultural campus on the site of Tel Aviv’s disused former central bus station.
Latvian Museum of Contemporary Art, New Hanza City, Current
From museums to galleries and university campuses to libraries, the practice’s civic buildings are defined by their ability to develop new typologies and to engage communities. Generating a discourse of public encounter, the buildings dissolve barriers and encourage permeability, while accommodating difference and inspiring an active negotiation of space.
The practice has broad retail and commercial experience ranging from banking to hospitality and offices to fashion. The approach can be defined by an ability to translate brands into space and to enhance possibilities for social interaction. At the core of this work is an ability to engage with clients and to offer them options which are both creatively ambitious and commercially competitive.
Hackney Regeneration Project, London, UK, Current
The coterminous expression of the spatial, political, cultural, and social dimension is the essence of the practice’s master planning projects and urban interventions. It presents the ultimate flexible methodology – a multi-nodal inquiry – that works at every scale.
70-73 Piccadilly, London, Current
Adjaye Associates’ earliest work comprised a series of residences, domestic spaces and studios for artists, mainly in London’s East End. These projects were a reconceptualisation of the lived-in environment and explored the relationship between private space and the city. The houses also offered the opportunity to experiment with form, natural light and materials in ways which were formative to the evolution of the practice. More recently, Adjaye Associates has been engaged in the design of larger scale projects – such as social housing and mixed-use developments – alongside a continued growing portfolio of private houses, villas and apartments for individuals.
Gwangju Pavilion, Gwangju, 2013
David Adjaye has always sought to cross creative platforms, collaborating with artists and designers from different disciplines and focusing on the creative discourse surrounding the act of making things. It is the dialogue – the cultural intersection – which is critical. It is this instinct that has been recognised by the art world, and which makes the collaborations with artists and curators so engaging.
Research & Exhibitions
Urban Africa Touring Exhibition, London, 2010
David Adjaye is widely seen as a role model for future generations. He participates in exhibitions, lectures, symposia, publishing projects and television. The research arm of the practice is vital to the creative discourse that drives its built work. While every individual project has unique qualities, it is the practice’s research that provides an overarching framework for experimentation, reflection and theoretical connections. This philosophical curve is an essential context for challenging typographies, engaging with historical references and offering a fresh approach to the contemporary condition and its future trajectories.
Double Zero, Moroso Collection, 2015
David Adjaye has a diverse portfolio of furniture and products that encompasses bespoke pieces as well as production furniture for Knoll, Sawaya and Moroni and Moroso. Referencing the concerns of the buildings and the research, the furniture designs are a critical part of the practice’s work, providing a testing ground for form and materials. While the buildings can take a number of years to realise, furniture conversely enjoys a much faster timeline and as such, this work powerfully articulates specific moments within the wider trajectory of the practice’s work.