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Time magazine names Sir David Adjaye as world's most influential architect

Sir David Adjaye has been named the world’s most influential architect by Time magazine.

In a citation for the publication, Thelma Golden, the director and chief curator of the Adjaye-designed Studio Museum in Harlem, described the British architect as “one of the great architectural visionaries of our time.”

She said: “His work – deeply rooted in both the present moment and the complex context of history – has envisioned new ways for culture to be represented and reflected in the built environment. Nowhere is this more evident than in his recent triumph on the National Mall.

“Every architect has to contend with gravity – but when David designed the National Museum of African American History and Culture, the challenges of that elemental force went far beyond the ordinary.

"How can a design acknowledge, and embody, the weight of this monumental history and yet transcend it right before your eyes? How can a building be true to the earthbound burdens of centuries of oppression and struggle, while at the same time displaying the faith, joy and triumphs of African-­American life, so that the structure soars into the light?

“In his epoch-making design, David made us aware of those questions and brilliantly solved them, with a singular gesture.”

Adjaye was the only architect included in Time’s 2017 list of the world’s 100 most influential people. Last year, BIG founder Bjarke Ingels was the sole architect included.

It has been a very good year so far for Adjaye, who received a knighthood in the 2017 New Year's Honours List for his services to his profession. Declaring himself “truly honoured and humbled”, he pledged to be a “global cultural ambassador for the UK” and reiterated the responsibility and potential of architects “to effect positive social change.”

The architect’s studio, Adjaye Associates, are currently working on a host of high-profile projects, including the Latvian Museum of Contemporary Art, the San Francisco Shipyard leisure district and a 30ft high community ‘Art Wall’ in the US city of Newark. They are also shortlisted, with Ron Arad, in the competition to design the new National Memorial to the Holocaust in London.

Sir David was our CLADmag cover star in our 2016 Q2 issue, and he discussed his architectural philosophy and his experiences working on the National Museum of African American History and Culture in an exclusive interview, which you can read here.

David Adjaye  Time magazine  architecture  design  National Museum of African American History and Culture 
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Sir David Adjaye has been named the world’s most influential architect by Time magazine. In a citation for the publication, Thelma Golden, the director and chief curator of the Adjaye-designed Studio Museum in Harlem, described the British architect as “one of the great architectural visionaries of our time.” She said: “His work – deeply rooted in both the present moment and the complex context of history – has envisioned new
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In Time's citation, Adjaye was described as 'one of the great architectural visionaries of our time'
 / Adjaye Associates
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