Award-winning British architect of Ghanaian ancestry David Adjaye has made the 2017 Honours list for the British knighthood.
The British Honours list recognizes the achievements and services of extraordinary people across the United Kingdom. According to Architects Journal, Adjaye is receiving the distinction due to his accomplishments in architecture.
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Adjaye, who was previously the recipient of an Order of the British Empire in 2007, will now be knighted by the Queen of England and have the title of “sir” affixed to his name.
An official statement from St. James Park described Adjaye as “one of the leading architects of his generation and a global cultural ambassador for the U.K.”
Responding, Adjaye said he was “honored and humbled” to have been chosen for the award, “I see this not as a personal celebration but as a celebration of the vast potential – and responsibility – for architecture to effect positive social change that we as architects have to bring something positive to the world.
“I am proud to continue to work in service of this mission as a global cultural ambassador for the U.K.”
A Stellar Career
Adjaye, 50, was born in Tanzania to a Ghanaian diplomat Father. He later moved to London at the age of 9. He is a graduate of the Royal College of Art and a visiting professor at the Princeton University School of Architecture. In 2000, Adjaye founded his architectural firm Adjaye Associates.
Some of his more important works include the design of the Whitechapel Idea Store in London, the Dirty House, the Stephen Lawrence Centre, the Nobel Peace Centre in Oslo, and what is perhaps regarded as his magnum opus: the $540 million Smithsonian National Museum of African American History and Culture that was opened by U.S. President Barack Obama last September.
More recently, Adjaye was commissioned to design Latvia’s Museum of Contemporary Art and develop a masterplan to overhaul San Francisco’s Shipyard.
Committed to Home
Adjaye hasn’t forgotten his roots; he has also been active in Africa. Some of his works on the continent include the design of a children’s cancer treatment center in Kigali, Rwanda, and the design of the Petronia city project in the heart of Nana Kwame Bedioka Wonda World Estate in the western region of Ghana.
With his coming knighthood, Adjaye would join an elite list of only five architects to have been knighted by the Queen of England, including Michael Hopkins (1995), Nicholas Grimshaw (2002), Peter Cook (2007), and David Chipperfield (2010).