Sir David Adjaye to receive top architecture award

Judges said his buildings demonstrate ‘the civic potential of architecture – fostering empathy, identity and pride.'

Sir David Adjaye will receive the 2021 Royal Gold Medal, one of the world’s highest honours for architecture.

The Medal is approved by the Queen and is given to a person or group of people who have had a significant influence “either directly or indirectly on the advancement of architecture”.

Adjaye Associates’ credits include the Smithsonian National Museum of African American History and Culture, in Washington, and the Nobel Peace Centre in Oslo, Norway.

Smithsonian National Museum of African American Arts and Culture, Washington DC by David Adjaye (Photographer Nic Lehoux)

In the UK, his architecture firm designed Rivington Place arts centre in Hackney, London, and the Idea Stores – two community libraries in the capital.

Sir David said the Medal was “incredibly humbling and a great honour”.

“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,” he said.

“The social impact of this discipline has been and will continue to be the guiding force in the experimentation that informs my practice.”

Alan Jones, president of the Royal Institute of British Architects (Riba), said: “His artistic and social vision has created public projects that perfectly demonstrate the civic potential of architecture, fostering empathy, identity and pride.”

Current projects include the UK Holocaust Memorial and Learning Centre, London and the Royal Benin Museum in Benin City, Nigeria.

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