North and LaSalle
Sir David Adjaye OBE
An award winning Ghanaian-British architect known to infuse his artistic sensibilities and ethos for community-driven projects. His ingenious use of materials, bespoke designs and visionary sensibilities have set him apart as one of the leading architects of his generation. In 2000, David founded his own practice, Adjaye Associates, which today operates globally, with studios in Accra, London, and New York taking on projects that span the globe. The firm’s work ranges from private houses, bespoke furniture collections, product design, exhibitions, and temporary pavilions to major arts centers, civic buildings, and master plans. His largest project to date, The National Museum of African American History & Culture in Washington, DC opened on the National Mall in Washington DC in 2016 and was named Cultural Event of the Year by The New York Times.
National Museum of African American History and Culture
The National Museum of African American History & Culture (NMAAHC) is the culmination of a centuries-long struggle to recognize the importance of the black community in the social fabric of American life. The museum houses exhibit galleries, administrative spaces, theatre space and collections storage space for the NMAAHC. The museum rethinks the role of what a civic institution could be in the 21st century, offering new modes of user experience and engagement while accommodating an evolving collection and wide range of artefacts. Resonating with Adjaye Associates approach to museum design, the NMAAHC prioritizes cultural narrative and identity, giving form to the multitude of untold stories that provide a deeper understanding of our past and current contexts to inform our future. As such, it operates simultaneously as a museum, a memorial and a space for cross-cultural community building. The design rests on three cornerstones: the “corona” shape and form of the building; the extension of the building out into the landscape – the porch; and the bronze filigree envelope.
Francis A. Gregory Library
Adjaye Associates won an open competition to design two new neighborhood libraries for the District of Columbia. The brief called for the new buildings to be flexible, accessible, welcoming and inviting. Resonating with the Adjaye Associates designed Idea Stores in London’s Tower Hamlets, the libraries challenge the traditional closed typology, introducing a social element that establishes a strong urban and cultural remit.
Bernie Grant Arts Centre
The Bernie Grant Arts Centre is a tribute to the former Labour MP Bernie Grant, in Tottenham. This project illustrates a long held dream of his, to provide a first class arts/theatre centre in North London that reaches out to young people, and ultimately embraces all generations of Tottenham’s community.
The 4,025 m² complex is a series of pavilions, which complement existing Grade II listed buildings on the site. Adjaye Associates’ design solution retains the integrity of the historical site, stitching together the disparate parts; a Victorian Town Hall, Bath-house, depot, square and railway buildings that collectively create a cultural village. The Centre also consists of a 300-person theatre, classrooms, dance and sound studios, performance space foyer, cafe and bar, enterprise units for local businesses and a new public plaza that connects the Centre with CONEL, a local college.