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RIBA Gold Medal 2021

David Adjaye


The Gold Medal of the Royal Institute of British Architects, the highest distinction that can be given to a professional in the field in the United Kingdom, went to David Adjaye, one of the leading African architects in the international scene. Born in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania, into a family of Ghanian diplomats, Adjaye set up his practice in 2000, and has since produced an eclectic and cosmopolitan body of works, mostly far from the continent of his birth but firmly grounded on memory and social commitment. An oeuvre carried out from his offices in London, New York, and Berlin, and encompassing a wide range of areas, from one-family homes (Elektra House, 2001), retail (Idea Store Chrisp Street, 2004), and collaborations with artists like Olafur Eliasson (Your black horizon, 2005) to commemorative buildings and museums. These include exceedingly iconic edifices like the Holocaust Memorial in London and the Smithsonian National Museum of African American History in Washington, D.C. (2016), the first work by a black architect on the National Mall of the United States capital.  

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