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Adjaye Associates: The Latest Architecture and News

Adjaye Associates Selected for San Francisco Shipyard Redesign

Adjaye Associates has been announced as the firm that will serve as masterplan architect and creative director for the second phase of revitalization of the San Francisco Shipyard, the waterfront neighborhood located at Hunter’s Point along the San Francisco Bay.

The project, developed by FivePoint Holdings, is envisioned as a state-of-the-art commercial district containing offices, labs, research facilities and housing, and will feature a mix of reclaimed heritage buildings and new constructions. The plan will center around acres of public spaces and sports grounds.

“I’m thrilled to be partnering with FivePoint to explore ways to reinvigorate this site’s unique infrastructure for the 21st Century,” said David Adjaye, firm principal. “This is a project with incredible transformative potential; to be given the opportunity to contribute to San Francisco’s urban fabric in such a significant way is a true honor.”

Video: President Obama Inaugurates the Smithsonian National Museum of African American History and Culture

© Darren Bradley
© Darren Bradley

“What we can see of this building, the towering glass, the artistry of the metalwork, is surely a sight to behold.”

These were the words spoken by President Barack Obama as he inaugurated the most recent addition to the National Mall in Washington D.C., the Smithsonian National Museum of African American History and Culture, this past weekend. The opening ceremonies featured musical performances and celebrations, as well as a look at the museum’s place in American history.

“This national museum helps to tell a richer and fuller story of who we are,” said Obama. “It helps us better understand the lives, yes, of the president but also the slave, the industrialist but also the porter, the keeper of the status quo but also the activist seeking to overthrow that status quo.”

David Adjaye Discusses the Narrative of the National Museum of African American History

This article was originally published by Metropolis Magazine as "Constructing a Narrative."

It’s rare for an architect to have the opportunity to design a building in which symbolism and form are as important as function, if not more so. But this was the task given to David Adjaye when he won the commission to design the National Museum of African American History and Culture (NMAAHC), which, when it opens in September, will be the final Smithsonian institution to take its place on the National Mall in Washington, D.C. Adjaye, whose work is marked for its extreme sensitivity to context, found himself challenged in ways he had never been before. On the occasion of the completion of Adjaye’s Eugene McDermott Award residency at MIT, Metropolis editor Vanessa Quirk spoke with the architect about the new institution, its symbolic significance, and the blurry boundary between monument and museum.

© Alan Karchmer © Alan Karchmer With no dense urban context to draw from, Adjaye eventually found inspiration in the classical vernacular. Indeed, the angle of the building’s facade matches that of the Washington Monument’s pyramid. Image © Alan Karchmer The three tiers of the building organize the spatial experience of the museum into past, present, and future. Image © Alan Karchmer + 8

Gallery: David Adjaye's National Museum of African American History and Culture Photographed by Paul Clemence

Photographer Paul Clemence of ARCHI-PHOTO has shared with us images of Adjaye Associates' nearly-completed Smithsonian National Museum of African American History and Culture. The building draws inspiration from the nearby Washington Monument, mirroring the 17-degree angle of its capstone in the museum’s tiered corona. Adjaye has described the building’s ornamental bronze lattice as “a historical reference to African American craftsmanship.” The skin can also be modulated to control the transparency and amount of sunlight reaching the interior spaces. The building will open to the public on September 24, 2016.

Continue on for Clemence’s full photoset.

© Paul Clemence © Paul Clemence © Paul Clemence © Paul Clemence + 34

Videos: David Adjaye, Bjarke Ingels & Maya Lin Talk to Goldman Sachs

In this series by renowned financial institution Goldman Sachs, Talks at GS, some of architecture’s leading minds, including David Adjaye and Maya Lin, talk about how their careers have developed, their secrets to success, and what they are working on right now. The most recent video features Bjarke Ingels discussing his design approach and the development of this year’s Serpentine Pavilion. In addition to the videos, Goldman Sachs has also sat down with two other design leaders to talk about their careers.

Find the rest of the interviews after the break.

Barack Obama Presidential Center Selects Tod Williams Billie Tsien Architects

The Obama Foundation has selected Tod Williams Billie Tsien Architects (TWBTA) with partner Interactive Design Architects (IDEA) to lead the design of the Obama Presidential Center for Chicago's South Side. Chosen from a shortlist including Diller Scofidio + Renfro, John Ronan Architects, Renzo Piano Building Workshop, SHoP Architects, Snøhetta and Adjaye Associates, TWBTA stood out for their “commitment to explore the best ways of creating an innovative center for action that inspires communities and individuals to take on our biggest challenges.”

SHoP Architects to Design National Veterans Resource Complex at Syracuse University

Following the shortlisting of three finalists in January, Syracuse University announced today that SHoP Architects has been selected to design the new National Veterans Resource Complex (NVRC). The winning proposal was selected by a jury led by Martha Thorne, Executive Director of the Pritzker Architecture Prize and Dean of the IE School of Architecture and Design in Madrid, beating out entries by Snøhetta and Adjaye Associates. The NVRC will serve as the headquarters of the University’s Institute for Veterans and Military Families (IVMF), which has helped more than 48,000 veterans and military families.

Courtesy of SHoP Architects Courtesy of SHoP Architects Courtesy of SHoP Architects Courtesy of SHoP Architects + 5

Adjaye Associates Selected to Design Latvian Museum of Contemporary Art

The Latvian Museum of Contemporary Art Foundation has selected Adjaye Associates to lead the design for a new contemporary art museum in downtown Riga. Selected from a pool of 7 finalists including wHY and Lahdelma & Mahlamäki, the winning design features a strongly animated roof geometry designed to pull soft northern light into each of the gallery spaces.

Adjaye Associates, working with local firm AB3D, envisioned the museum as a social incubator, a welcoming and porous space where people could be brought together through a variety of formal and spontaneous interactions. The jury found that the proposal’s distinctive silhouette would give the museum a strong presence within its context of planned commercial and residential developments, and that is orientation and materiality showed a keen awareness of the vernacular and cultural contexts.

Latvian Museum of Contemporary Art Reveals Shortlisted Designs

The design proposals of seven shortlisted finalists for the Latvian Museum of Contemporary Art Design Competition have been released by the competition’s organizer, Malcolm Reading Consultants. Located in the capital city of Riga, the funding for the €30 million project is a public private partnership with support from from the ABLV Charitable Foundation and the Boris and Ināra Teterev Foundation, which co-founded the Latvian Museum of Contemporary Art Foundation. The Ministry of Culture of the Republic of Latvia and the Museum’s Foundation signed a memorandum of intent regarding the museum and building on 30 October 2014. The competition, organized in 2015 with 25 first-stage participants, will announce a jury-selected winner in mid-June.

Adjaye, SHoP and Snøhetta Shortlisted for New Veterans Complex at Syracuse University

Adjaye Associates, SHoP Architects and Snøhetta have been shortlisted for a new National Veterans Resource Complex (NVRC) at Syracuse University. The three practices, all of which were among seven recently shortlisted to design the Obama Presidential Library in Chicago, were selected over 28 considered firms by a group of faculty, staff, students and design professionals, including Martha Thorne.

“The three finalist firms and their teams are outstanding,” says Thorne. “I have no doubt they will propose ideas that go beyond traditional academic buildings and make the NVRC a pioneering facility that will contribute to the University, as well as the broader community.”

Adjaye Among 7 Asked to Submit Proposals for Barack Obama Presidential Center

Confirming the speculation, Adjaye Associates has been asked alongside six others to submit design proposals for the Barack Obama Presidential Center planned for Chicago's South Side. Diller Scofidio + Renfro, John Ronan Architects, Renzo Piano Building Workshop, SHoP Architects, Snøhetta and Tod Williams Billie Tsien Architects complete the list; all are expected to provide designs for both considered sites - Jackson Park and Washington Park.

“These finalists offer a variety of backgrounds and styles, and any one of them would be an excellent choice,” Obama Foundation chairman Martin Nesbitt, according to CBS Chicago. “We are excited to see this process moving forward because the Obama Presidential Center will be so much more than a library – this facility will seek to inspire citizens across the globe to better their communities, their countries, and their world.”

David Adjaye’s Aishti Foundation in Beirut Nears Completion

The David Adjaye-designed Aishti Foundation in Beirut, Lebanon is nearing completion. Located in central Beirut, the building replaces former warehouses, housing both an art gallery and retail space. This unique “juxtaposition of art and shopping” inspired Adjaye and Associates “to create a design for an entirely new typology that would integrate two, often conflicting, worlds,” write the architects in a press release.

© Guillaume Ziccarelli © Guillaume Ziccarelli © Guillaume Ziccarelli © Guillaume Ziccarelli + 20

Can Anyone Win in Architecture Criticism? An Appeal for a "New Sincerity"

In the mid-1980s, after literature had long been held hostage by postmodernist irony and cynicism, a new wave of authors called for an end to negativity, promoting a "new sincerity" for fiction. Gaining momentum into the 1990s, the movement reached a pinnacle in 1993 when, in his essay E Unibus Pluram: Television and U.S. Fiction, pop-culture seer David Foster Wallace, a proponent of this "new sincerity," made the following call to action: “The next real literary ‘rebels’ in this country might well emerge as some weird bunch of anti-rebels, born oglers who dare somehow to back away from ironic watching, who have the childish gall actually to endorse and instantiate single-entendre principles... These anti-rebels would be outdated, of course, before they even started. Dead on the page. Too sincere. Clearly repressed. Backward, quaint, naive, anachronistic. Maybe that’ll be the point. Maybe that’s why they’ll be the next real rebels. Real rebels, as far as I can see, risk disapproval. The old postmodern insurgents risked the gasp and squeal: shock, disgust, outrage, censorship, accusations of socialism, anarchism, nihilism. Today’s risks are different. The new rebels might be artists willing to risk the yawn, the rolled eyes, the cool smile, the nudged ribs, the parody of gifted ironists, the ‘Oh how banal.'"

Architecture, ever in debt to the styles and ideas of other art forms, could learn a thing or two now from the resuscitation of American fiction at the turn of the millennium. It too is enduring an identity crisis, mired by pessimism and uncertainty - a reality made painfully clear this past January when a New York Times Op-Ed by Steven Bingler and Martin C. Pedersen, How to Rebuild Architecture, divided camps and made the design world fume. In the editorial, the authors spoke vehemently of an architectural profession that has become mired by egos and been disconnected from public needs. Things quickly got ugly, critics wrestled with critics and subsequently the public got involved. What no one seemed to take into account is that this type of hounding is at the core of the problem. In its current landscape the discipline has struggled with its past, been deferential to its present, and wrestled with the uncertainty of its future. In a moment when we have become addicted to despondency, can anyone win?

Adjaye Associates' Sugar Hill Development Offers a Different Model for Public Housing

In discussion with Calvin Tomkins for a 2013 profile in The New Yorker, David Adjaye spoke intensely on the significance of his Sugar Hill Development. “Context,” said Adjaye, “is so important, not to mimic but to become part of the place. I wanted a building that acknowledges its surroundings.” The recently-completed project is the brainchild of Ellen Baxter, leader of Broadway Housing Communities (BHC), a non-profit that has made strides to create innovative housing schemes in Upper Manhattan’s Washington Heights neighborhood. In an era where mixed-used developments are routine, Sugar Hill adds new dimensions to the typology by uniting affordable apartments, an early childhood education center, offices for the BHC, and the Sugar Hill Children’s Museum of Art & Storytelling.

In conjunction with their full building review written by Rob Bevan, The Architectural Review has produced this video which introduces the broader public to the tenants, allowing us to better understand the building’s use, intentions, and the design philosophy.

The Barack Obama Presidential Center: Adjaye or Not Adjaye?

There has been much debate, speculation and excitement among architectural enthusiasts about who is on the shortlist to design the Barack Obama Presidential Center in Chicago. After spending an afternoon viewing “Making Place: The Architecture of David Adjaye,” now on at the Art Institute of Chicago, I’m more convinced than ever that Adjaye is the right person for the job.

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."

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.