At the age of just 36, David Adjaye, was already an renowned architect. With hard work and great exposure, he became a household architect early on in his career. David Adjaye, born in Tanzania but his family originally hail Ghana, two places that heavily influence David’s work to this day. David’s father was a Diplomat, hence David moved around often, especially in Asia. This is when his desire, passion and creative ability really began to develop. David finally settled in London and that is where his architecture education began at South Bank University and Royal College of Art.
What’s so great about David Adjaye, is that he was ready to make his mark straight away. His first real project was when he was told to re-design a shoe factory in Whitechapel, London and turn it into a house for two artists and their children. After he had finished, the project sparked much controversy as well gained much praise. The reason why there were so many raised eyebrows is that his building not only stood out, but it stood out in a residential area. The materials used to make the home were not ones common on the street or associated with housing at all. When you look at the facade (one side of an exterior building) facing the street, there were no clear windows, but on the other side it was all practically glass. He had built the inside and outside of the house according to what type of people his clients were. His desire for the house, was for it to be intense and to have great presence. It is evident in his work that he is always trying to get people to think about his work and people to have an opinion, be it a positive one or a negative one. He gets most of his inspiration from art, art represents free embodiment. He loves the idea that art can be about the life of one person. This is clearly evident in his work, he calls himself a conceptual architect. He says it is the ability for him to use anything to express his ideas.
Since the time he started pursuing architecture till now, it has always been a career path for the wealthy and white middle class. Trying to breakthrough as a black architect was one of his many struggles but he very rightly proved that his ideas, way of thinking and charm really set him apart from the rest; and allowed him to enter the respected world of Architecture.