- Sir David Adjaye photographed by Ed Reeve
- The Dirty House / Adjaye Associates
Making his first waves in London’s then-gritty East End, Adjaye designed houses and studios for Ofili as well as fashion photographer Juergen Teller and actor Ewan McGregor. Possibly the most publicized of Adjaye’s early projects is the Dirty House he completed in collaboration with Noble and Webster in 2002. Painted a dark color reportedly inspired by Adjaye’s skin, the structure makes a powerful statement with mirrored windows and a seemingly floating cantilevered roof. Despite its slightly ominous appearance from the street (Webster has described it as a “fortress”), the interior of the Dirty House is light and airy, combining elegant, gallery-like living quarters on the second floor and a spacious ground-level art studio.
Adjaye’s increasingly visible profile on London’s East End led to a commission to create two “Idea Stores” — structures designed to re-envision public libraries for contemporary audiences amid waning attendance. Inspired in part by the multicultural neighborhood and market that surrounds it, Adjaye’s blue-and-green striped glass Idea Store in Whitechapel placed his striking aesthetics and socially driven design sense on a larger stage when it was nominated for a Royal Institute of British Architects Stirling Prize in 2006.
- Smithsonian National Museum of African American History and Culture / Adjaye Associates
- Ruby City rendering / Adjaye Associates
Recently counted among Architectural Digest’s list of the 14 Most Anticipated Buildings of 2019, Adjaye’s first-ever project in Texas comes to light this week when the knighted architect and Order of the British Empire honoree visits San Antonio for a free lecture at Trinity’s Laurie Auditorium. Titled “Ruby City: A Lecture With Sir David Adjaye,” the talk promises to cover both his collaboration with Pace and the creative process behind the contemporary art space, which is set to open to the public in October 2019.
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