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David Adjaye collects knighthood


David Adjaye has been knighted by Prince William, Duke of Cambridge at an investiture ceremony held at Buckingham Palace

The 50-year-old, who founded Adjaye Associates in 2000 and received an OBE in 2007, joins only a handful of living architects to have been knighted, among them Michael Hopkins (1995), Nicholas Grimshaw (2002), Peter Cook (2007) and David Chipperfield (2010). 

The Honours list statement described Adjaye as ‘one of the leading architects of his generation and a global cultural ambassador for the UK’.

After receiving his knighthood at the ceremony last week (12 May) Adjaye said: ’I am deeply honoured and delighted to have received a knighthood for my contribution to architecture, and absolutely thrilled to be recognised for a role that I consider a pleasure to be able to undertake.

’I’d like to thank Her Majesty the Queen for this incredible privilege, which I see as a celebration of the potential architecture has to effect positive social change.’

The citation for for Adjaye’s honour highlighted, in particular, his designs for the Nobel Peace Centre in Oslo, the Whitechapel Idea Store in London and the recently completed $540 million Smithsonian National Museum of African American History and Culture in Washington DC, Adjaye’s largest project to date.

Adjaye said he was ‘humbled’ to receive the honour, adding: ‘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. [Recognition] 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 UK.’

It has been a memorable couple of years for the architect, who also won the competition to design Latvia’s first Museum of Contemporary Art, landed the job to masterplan the overhaul of San Francisco’s Shipyard and is currently shortlisted for both the UK’s National Holocaust Memorial and a new £25 million visitor centre in Edinburgh.

His practice also submitted plans for a major 14,158m² mixed-use building on London’s Strand in November.  


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