David Adjaye has been recognised for his services to architecture in the 2017 New Year’s Honours list
The 50-year-old, who founded Adjaye Associates in 2000 and received an OBE in 2007, joins only a handful of 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’.
The notice from St James’s Palace also cited Adjaye’s 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.’
He will be officially knighted later this year.
The award tops off a memorable 12 months 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 was shortlisted for both the UK’s National Holocaust Memorial and in the contest to light up all 17 central London bridges.
Adjaye Associates Latvia art museum contest crop
His practice also submitted plans for a major 14,158m² mixed-use building on London’s Strand in November.
Also recognised in the New Year’s Honours was Ricky Burdett, professor of urban studies at the London School of Economics, who was made a Commander of the Order of the British Empire (CBE) for his pioneering research into urban planning.