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Chicago Tribune Says 11 "High Caliber" Architects Asked to Submit Qualifications for Obama Library

The University of Chicago's two proposed sites. Image ©
The University of Chicago's two proposed sites. Image ©

Update: The Chicago Tribune's architecture critic Blair Kamin has now reported that 140 architects from 60 cities have expressed their interest in designing the Barack Obama Presidential Center in Chicago by submitting qualifications. Of these, 99 are based in the United States, although names have not been released. The below article, originally published on September 1st, lists 11 architects that Kamin was able to confirm had been invited to submit qualifications by the Barack Obama Foundation.

Last week, it was reported that the Barack Obama Foundation was searching globally for an architect to design Obama's Presidential Library and Museum (officially known as the Barack Obama Presidential Center). With the list of invited candidates for Obama's Presidential Center still a closely-guarded secret, though, the Chicago Tribune's architecture critic Blair Kamin has turned investigator, uncovering a list of 11 firms among the "fifty or more" which are believed to have been invited. Kamin states that the 11 firms he has confirmed to be in the running are "A) Of high caliber; B) Represent a broad geographic and aesthetic spectrum; and C) Include the established firms one would expect to be invited."

David Adjaye Designs "Ruby City" for Linda Pace Foundation in San Antonio

The Linda Pace Foundation has unveiled plans for a new building designed by Adjaye Associates. Planned to open in San Antonio, Texas in 2018, "Ruby City" will house the Foundation's growing collection of contemporary art. The two-story structure, clad in "crimson-hued panels of precast concrete with glass aggregate," will be distinct with its "dramatic rooftop of sloping angles and skylights that rise to varying heights and echo cut-away spaces at the building’s base."

David Adjaye Awarded the 2016 Eugene McDermott Award in the Arts at MIT

David Adjaye has been selected as the winner of MIT's 2016 Eugene McDermott Award in the Arts, which honors “individuals whose artistic trajectory reveals that they will achieve the highest distinction in their fields and continue to produce inspiring work for many years to come.” The award consists of $100,000 prize in addition to an artist residency at MIT in the spring of 2016. During the residency, Adjaye will participate in four different public events, including panels and symposia.

Rivington Place / Adjaye Assocates. Image © Lyndon Douglas Museum of Contemporary Art / Adjaye Associates. Image Courtesy of Adjaye Associates Francis Gregory Library / Adjaye Associates. Image © Edmund Sumner Sugar Hill Development / Adjaye Associates. Image Courtesy of Adjaye Associates

David Adjaye: "Architecture Cannot be Autonomous"

"I believe that for architecture to be emotionally relevant to people, that there has to be a connection, [that] there has to be a relationship, that architecture cannot be autonomous. If it's not connected to the lives of people, the histories of people, I think there's a problem." In a recent interview with Aljazeera's Lisa Fletcher, British architect David Adjaye discusses his recent work and how the new Smithsonian Museum of African American History will serve as a "negotiator" on racial tension in the US. Read the full interview, here

Exhibition: Making Place: The Architecture of David Adjaye

With over 50 built projects across the world, David Adjaye is rapidly emerging as a major international figure in architecture and design. Rather than advancing a signature architectural style, Adjaye’s structures address local concerns and conditions through both a historical understanding of context and a global understanding of modernism. The first comprehensive museum survey devoted to Adjaye, this exhibition offers an in-depth overview of the architect’s distinct approach and visual language with a dynamic installation design conceived by Adjaye Associates.

David Adjaye Unveils Design for Cancer Centre in Rwanda

Full Building Exterior. Image Courtesy of Adjaye Associates
Full Building Exterior. Image Courtesy of Adjaye Associates

Adjaye Associates have unveiled their design for the Eugene Gasana Jr. Foundation Paediatric Cancer Centre in Kigali, Rwanda. Located on a four-hectare site, the centre will include a 100-bed hospital, lodging for outpatients and residential housing for hospital staff. The design is inspired by the region’s vernacular architecture, and by the local Imigongo art form, which often includes black, white and red geometric patterns.

Read on to learn more about the project.

David Adjaye’s Temporary Museum Hosts "All the World's Future's" at Venice's 56th International Art Exhibition

A temporary pavilion designed by London-based firm Adjaye Associates is housing a selection of works for the 56th International Art Exhibition, "All the World's Futures," in Venice. Curated by Okwui Enwezor, the exhibition explores the numerous ways in which art can be experienced in "an unfolding of typologies." Adjaye Associate's temporary museum seeks to parallel Enwezor's curatorial vision, and is nestled within a 316-meter-long, 16th-century ship-building warehouse in the Arsenale district.

Courtesy of Adjaye Associates Courtesy of Adjaye Associates Courtesy of Adjaye Associates Courtesy of Adjaye Associates

The 17 Top Architect-Designed Products at Milan Design Week 2015

The 54th edition of Milan Design Week (also known as Salone del Mobile) recently came to a close. In celebration of its success, we have compiled a list of the most talked about architect-designed products showcased this year. Take a look after the break to see new products from Rem Koolhaas, Zaha Hadid, David Chipperfield, and more. 

Soft / Nendo. Image Courtesy of Nendo Blur / Ron Arad. Image © Moroso via Dezeen Langley / David Chipperfield. Image © e15 Open / Rem Koolhaas. Image © Olivari via Domus

7 Architects Designing a Diverse Future in Africa

As the legacy of the Cold War fades and Western preeminence gradually becomes a thing of the past, population booms in Asia followed by the growth of a vast non-western middle class have seriously challenged the Western perception of the world. The East has become the focal point of the world’s development.

If East Asia is the present focal point of this development, the future indisputably lies in Africa. Long featuring in the Western consciousness only as a land of unending suffering, it is now a place of rapidly falling poverty, increasing investment, and young populations. It seems only fair that Africa’s rich cultures and growing population (predicted to reach 1.4 billion by 2025) finally take the stage, but it’s crucially important that Africa’s future development is done right. Subject to colonialism for centuries, development in the past was characterized by systems that were designed for the benefit of the colonists. Even recently, resource and energy heavy concrete buildings, clothes donations that damage native textile industries, and reforestation programs that plant water hungry and overly flammable trees have all been seen, leaving NGOs open to accusations of well-meaning ignorance.

Fortunately, a growth in native practices and a more sensible, sensitive approach from foreign organizations has led to the rise of architectural groups creating buildings which learn from and improve Africa. Combining local solutions with the most appropriate Western ideas, for the first time these new developments break down the perception of monolithic Africa and have begun engaging with individual cultures; using elements of non-local architecture when they improve a development rather than creating a pastiche of an imagined pan-African culture. The visions these groups articulate are by no means the same - sustainable rural development, high end luxury residences and dignified civic constructions all feature - but they have in common their argument for a bright future across Africa. We’ve collected seven pioneers of Africa’s architectural awakening - read on after the break for the full article and infographic.

Pretoria's Freedom Park, designed by MMA Design Studio with GAPP Architects and MRA Architects. Image Courtesy of MMA Design Studio, GAPP Architects and MRA Architects The Makoko Floating School in Lagos, Nigeria. Image © NLÉ Architects Butaro Hospital in Rwanda. Image © Iwan Baan Red Pepper House in Lamu, Kenya. Image © Alberto Heras

"Narratives of History, Climate, Culture and Place" Abound in David Adjaye Retrospective

Starting January 29th, Munich's Haus der Kunst will host "Form, Heft, Material," a major retrospective of the work of British architect David Adjaye. Co-curated by Okwui Enwezor and Zoe Ryan, the exhibition's broad catalogue reflects Adjaye's diverse career and portfolio, including architectural projects alongside material experiments, research, and furniture design. Through sketches, models, prints, drawings, 1:1 building fragments, film, and text, "Form, Heft, Material" foregrounds Adjaye's work against the rich geographical and social context that frames his design approach.

6 of Russia's Best 21st Century Projects

Given the country's rich architectural history spanning almost the entirety of the 20th century, you'd be forgiven for thinking that the fall of Russian Communism in the early 1990s might have sparked an exciting new era in design. That promise hasn't exactly been fulfilled, but as The Calvert Journal reports, a few promising recent projects are hinting at a Russian Renaissance.

The last twenty years of architecture has added little but bog-standard steel-and-glass office blocks to the limited palate of the Russian cityscape — the usual glinting onion domes, pompous Stalinist neoclassicism and crumbling tower blocks. But lately some architects have dared to differ and turned bold blueprints into bricks and mortar. Read on after the break for our pick of the best Russian buildings of the last decade.

Courtesy of Totan Kuzembaev © Ostozhenka Bureau © Fotikdepo © The Calvert Journal

The Z Axis International Conference to Explore "Great City, Terrible Place" in India

Curated by the Charles Correa Foundation, the Z Axis is an annual conference bringing together pioneers, thought leaders, influencers, professionals, and students in the fields of architecture and urban design to create an intellectual community focused on issues related to the context of India and the developing world. Fifteen speakers will gather from across the globe to explore the theme of Great City…Terrible Place, including Charles CorreaDavid Adjaye, Alfredo Brillembourg of Urban Think Tank, Spain's "guerrilla architect" Santiago Cirugeda, Simone Sfriso of Studio TAM Associati and more.  

David Adjaye to Receive Du Bois Medal at Harvard

On September 30, Mohsen Mostafavi will present David Adjaye with the W.E.B. Du Bois Medal, Harvard University’s highest honor in the field of African and African American studies, at the Hutchins Center Honors. Since 2000, the Du Bois Medal has been awarded to individuals from across the globe in recognition of their contributions to African and African-American history and culture. Adjaye is one of nine luminaries receiving this year’s award, including Oprah Winfrey and the late Maya Angelou. More information about the ceremony can be found here.

In Discussion With David Adjaye

In an interview with Rowan Moore for The Observer, British born architect David Adjaye discusses his work, personality and ambitions as head of the one of the fastest growing internationally operating practices. With Moore's immersive descriptions and expertly written narrative, the "breadth of Adjaye's vision" becomes apparent. Featuring precise descriptions of some his upcoming projects, including the designs for the Smithsonian's National Museum of African American History and Culture and a number of smaller buildings in London, Moore's discussion ultimately explores Adjaye's early (and successful) steps into the African architectural market. You can read the interview in full here.

David Adjaye’s Wakefield Market Hall Faces Demolition

Yorkshire councilors have indicated the demise of David Adjaye’s first public project, the Wakefield Market Hall. Faced with harsh budget cuts, the local council is considering an offer by Sovereign Land, owner of the neighboring shopping complex, after the heavily subsidized 6-year-old market has consistently failed to attract enough business. If next week’s council vote sways in the developers favor, the £3 million structure will be bulldozed and replaced by a cinema. 

Current Work: David Adjaye's Lecture at The Cooper Union

Each year The Architectural League in its Current Work program presents the work of significant international figures who powerfully influence contemporary architectural practice and shape the future of the built environment. David Adjaye will present his work in a public lecture to be followed by a conversation with moderator Gregg Pasquarelli, founding principal at SHoP Architects.

WSJ Announces David Adjaye as 'Architecture Innovator' of 2013

The Wall Street Journal has announced David Adjaye as "Architecture Innovator" for 2013. The 47-year old Tanzanian-born and British-educated architect, whose current projects span from affordable housing apartments in Harlem to the African American History and Culture Museum in Washington D.C., "has the unique ability to speak to experiences and to people outside the norms of his profession," delivering his message across cultural boundaries. 

SOHO China's Zhang Xin on Balancing Design and Commercial Viability

The list of architects that have collaborated with Zhang Xin’s development company, SOHO China, reads like the roster of an architectural dream team (which includes Zaha Hadid, Yung Ho Chang, Bjarke Ingels, Kengo Kuma, Kazuyo Sejima, Herzog & de Meuron, Thom Mayne, David Adjaye, Toyo Ito and others). So it’s no surprise that the self-made billionaire lectured to a packed house at Harvard University’s Graduate School of Design last Thursday. Xin spoke about her commitment to and love of design, explaining that her company’s mission is to bring a variety of architectural languages to China. And though SOHO’s projects are certainly experimental, Xin contends that her developer mindset actually helps meliorate the architect’s propensity to take the experiment too far—all without sacrificing the impressive and iconic forms of SOHO’s building portfolio.

Watch Zhang Xin link her practice in real estate to larger global issues and catch a glimpse of two Zaha Hadid-designs currently under construction: Wangjing SOHO and Sky SOHO.

© Iwan Baan © Iwan Baan © Iwan Baan © Iwan Baan