Professional Practice

Center for Architecture and Design Honors Sir David Adjaye with 33rd Louis I. Kahn Memorial Award

Date: 5/3/2018 - 5/3/2018

Type: Events

LA CES approved?: No

Location(s): Pennsylvania

Description: Sir David Adjaye, a British architect and founding rincipal of Adjaye Associates, will be honored with the Center for Architecture and Design’s 33rd Louis I. Kahn Memorial Award, accompanied by a talk and exhibition about his work. The presentation will be held at the University of Pennsylvania’s Irvine Auditorium on May 3rd, 2018.

The annual Louis I. Kahn Memorial Award + Talk, founded in 1983, is Philadelphia's signature event honoring an individual who has made significant contributions to the field of architecture. The event celebrates these achievements in memory of the storied career of Philadelphia architect Louis Kahn - widely considered the most important American modernist architect - and designer of such famous structures as the Salk Institute in La Jolla, California; the National Assembly Building in Dhaka, Bangladesh; and the Richards Medical Research Laboratories at the University of Pennsylvania in Philadelphia.

The event raises funds to support the Charter High School for Architecture + Design (CHAD), the first school of its kind in the nation, founded in 1999 by the Philadelphia Chapter of the American Institute of Architects. CHAD encourages youth from under-represented and under-served communities to pursue careers in the fields of architecture and design. Additional funding from the event is used to support the educational programs of the Center for Architecture and Design.

This year’s honoree, Sir David Adjaye, is recognized as a leading architect of his generation. Born in Tanzania to Ghanaian parents, his broadly ranging influences, ingenious use of materials and sculptural ability have established him as an architect with an artist’s sensibility and vision. In 2000, he founded Adjaye Associates, which now has offices in London, New York, and Accra with projects in the US, UK, Europe, Africa, Asia, and the Middle East. His largest project to date, the $540 million Smithsonian Institute National Museum of African American History and Culture, opened on the National Mall in Washington DC in the fall of 2016 and was named Cultural Event of the Year by The New York Times.

“As a young student of architecture, I was in admiration of Louis Khan’s mastery over light and his seemingly intrinsic understanding of materiality. To now receive an award in his namesake is an incredible honor and a true milestone in my career,” Adjaye said.

Other prominent completed projects include the Idea Stores in London, which were credited with pioneering a new approach to library services (2005); the Moscow School of Management SKOLKOVO (2010), and the Sugar Hill mixed-use social housing scheme in Harlem, New York (2015). Ongoing projects include a new home for the Studio Museum in Harlem, New York, the National Cathedral of Ghana in Accra, and the National Holocaust Memorial and Learning Centre in London.

Adjaye has amassed numerous accolades for his visionary work, including Design Miami/ Artist of the Year title in 2011, The Wall Street Journal Innovator Award in 2013, and the 2016 Panerai London Design Medal from the London Design Festival. In 2017, Adjaye received a knighthood from Queen Elizabeth II for services to architecture and was named one of TIME Magazine’s 100 most influential people.

The award and talk will be accompanied by an exhibition focused on Adjaye Associates’ work, opening May 3rd at the Center for Architecture and Design. Sharing the stories behind some of Adjaye’s most accomplished projects, it will explore his designs through sketches, video, renderings, material samples, documentary photography, and other media.

Past awardees include: Lord Norman Foster, architect of Comcast Innovation + Technology Center; Peter Bohlin, FAIA, architect of Apple’s iconic glass cube; Daniel Liebskind, BDA, architect of the original Freedom Tower concept; Robert A.M. Stern, FAIA, architect of the first Comcast Center; Rafael Viñoly, FAIA, architect of the Kimmel Center; and César Pelli, FAIA, architect of Cira Center.

The 2018 Louis I. Kahn Memorial Award + Talk is generously supported by MIS Capital, presenting sponsor.


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