I recently came across this term, Afropolitan, defined as a contemporary generation of African. Some definitions go as far as to say, its Africans who have lived or are living outside the Dark Continent. Whichever definition you deem best, I consider it an apt way to describe the Architect David Adjaye. This being part three of my Afri(o)can series, I thought I’d profile this Tanzanian born, London based Ghanaian Architect.
Architect David Adjaye in his pavilion created for the London Design Festival on the South Bank. Photograph: Linda Nylind
David Adjaye has won a RIBA (Royal Institute of British Architects) Bronze medal amoungst other prestigious awards and in 2011 he was selected for the Designer of the Year Award by Design Miami. Over the course of ten years he travelled and documented every African Capital city, a goal I now aspire to, and compiled it into a catalogue named " Urban Africa: David Adjaye's Photographic Survey,"
I have a particular fondness for the round structure he built for the London Design Festival in 2008. The Sclera Pavilion illustrates an elegant use of timber slats, but its ‘hut-like’ shape makes me wonder, if the 'hut' was a design language, or an aesthetic?
Adjaye once said;
“Architecture is losing its relevance to life. It's more about spectacle than buildings.”
I agree with him, for I believe buildings should be habitable spaces as opposed to just sculptures in space. A few weeks back I did a profile on Santiago Calatrava, and he best illustrates how sculpture-like buildings can also be habitable.
The Sclera Pavilion
The 'ceiling' of the Sclera Pavilion
An entry way into the Sclera Pavilion
He has a grounded intrest in Africa and what she has to offer interms of a built environment, and I do hope other African Designers and Architects living in the diaspora will help build Her cities.
(You can visit the Adjaye Associates website here www.adjaye.com for a list of projects he has done and a brief biography)
blog originally published by : Jules http://studio83.co.za/news/2012/02/29/3375