David Adjaye is an architect of momentous successes — to truly describe his many accomplishments in detail would require penning an encyclopedia-sized book.
You likely know Adjaye as the lead designer for the $360 million National Museum of African American History and Culture on the National Mall, which just opened in 2016. Recently, his practice has also been selected to design , to serve as the master plan architects for a giant redevelopment, and he has been shortlisted as a potential designer for the , according to .
Now, the 50-year-old architect shall be a knight.
The Queen of England herself, Queen Elizabeth II, will grant Adjaye the Knights Bachelor award at an event later this year for his contributions to architecture ( for a preeminent contribution in any field). Men who receive the award also receive the distinguished title of "Sir" — which will make him Sir David Adjaye — while women receive the title of "Dame." Others who have received the award include Bill Gates and the late Zaha Hadid.
The stated that Adjaye is "one of the leading architects of his generation and a global cultural ambassador for the U.K." He was also appointed Officer of the Order of the British Empire for his contribution to British architecture in 2007, reports . Adjaye's British projects include the , the , and the .
The Whitechapel Idea Store in London, England.
The architect was born many miles away from London, however, in Tanzania to Ghanaian parents. His father was a civil servant until Ghana won its independence from Britain in 1957. He then became a diplomat, and for this reason, Adjaye moved frequently with his family as a child — living in Uganda, Egypt, Kenya, Lebanon, Ghana and Saudi Arabia, reports .
When Adjaye was 13 years old, his family moved to London to help support his brother, who had fallen ill with a paralyzing condition. Wanting a creative job that could also provide a steady career, Adjaye earned an architectural degree from London South Bank University.
The young architect set up his first office in 1994, and soon brought influences of contemporary art, science and music to both the city civic life and African art forms, according to . Adjaye's offices are now based in London and New York, though he continues to take on projects throughout the world. In the United States, he has designed the in Denver, two public libraries in Washington D.C. and many residential projects.
Still, a picture is worth a thousand words — especially when it's a picture of incredible design. Scroll on to see a select few of Adjaye's projects.
The Museum of African American History and Culture on the National Mall.
The Skolkovo Moscow School of Management in Russia.
The Stephen Lawrence Center in London, England.
Rivington Place in London, England.
The Proenza Shouler store in New York City.
The Ozwald Boateng flagship store in London, England.
The Nobel Peace Centre in Oslo, Norway.