Sir David Adjaye, the renowned Ghanaian architect, has received the 2021 Royal Gold Medal from the Royal Institute of British Architects in the UK. The award is one of the highest in the field.
It is the first time in the award’s 172-year history that it has been presented to a black architect.
The judges praised Adjaye as “a singular and timely talent and a strong reminder of the insightful and integrative role of the architect”.
In September 2020, the Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA) announced that Sir David Adjaye would be the next recipient of the 2021 Royal Gold Medal, the UK’s highest honour for architecture.
The Royal Gold Medal is approved personally by Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II, the reigning monarch of the UK, and is given to a person or group of people who have had a significant influence “either directly or indirectly on the advancement of architecture”.
Sir David Adjaye has achieved international attention for an exceptional body of work over 25 years. Drawing on his cited influences including “contemporary art, music and science to African art forms and the civic life of cities”, his completed projects range from private houses, exhibitions and furniture design, through to major cultural buildings and city master plans.
From the start of his career, he has combined practice with teaching in schools of architecture in the UK and the USA, including professorships at the universities of Harvard, Michigan, Pennsylvania and Princeton.
His practice, Adjaye Associates, was founded in 2000, and today he has studios in Accra, London and New York, with projects across the world.