Placemaking: a survey of David Adjaye’s work to-date opens at the Art Institute of Chicago

Gregory Neighborhood Library, Washington DC
Among the rich body of David Adjaye's work bein celebrated at the Art Institute of Chicago is the Francis A. Gregory Neighborhood Library, Washington DC, 2012, pictured here. Courtesy of Adjaye Associates. 
(Image credit: Ed Sumner)

Launching at the Art Institute of Chicago (opens in new tab), Making Place: The Architecture of David Adjaye is a celebration of the architect’s continuous evolution, rich body of work and growing roster of ongoing projects.

'This isn’t about sealing David’s career with a retrospective exhibition,' explains exhibition curator Zoë Ryan, 'but rather highlighting a critical moment to consider the possibilities of where David’s practice is headed. My hope is that the exhibition will promote a much richer understanding of an architect committed to creating projects of social and cultural significance and meaning.'

The Tanzania-born architect has worked internationally on a series of projects of all scales and typologies – current work includes for example the highly anticipated, complex commission for the Smithsonian National Museum of African American History and Culture (NMAAHC) in Washington, DC. His dynamic approach bridges cultures and geographical locations, responding to local concerns and context, rather than focusing on a specific signature style.

Drawings, sketches, mock-ups and scale models make up a rich and informative display that takes over the institute’s Abbot, and Architecture and Design galleries. A specially commissioned film on site adds further context to the practice’s work.

This is Adjaye’s very first comprehensive retrospective in a North American venue – held in the architecturally rich city of Chicago no less, as the same time as the region’s inaugural Chicago Architectural Biennale. A series of events will be held at the institute throughout the show’s duration, adding another layer to the discourse around its key themes. 

Adjaye Aishti Foundation Beirut Lebanon

Aïshti Foundation, Beirut, Lebanon. Courtesy of Adjaye Associates

(Image credit: TBC)

Smithsonian National Museum of African American History and Culture, Washington DC

Smithsonian National Museum of African American History and Culture, Washington DC. Courtesy of Adjaye Associates. 

(Image credit: Steve Hall, Hedrich Blessing)

Dirty House, London, UK, 2002

Dirty House, London, UK, 2002. Courtesy of Adjaye Associates

(Image credit: Ed Sumner)

Francis A. Gregory Neighborhood Library, Washington DC

Francis A. Gregory Neighborhood Library, Washington DC, 2012. Courtesy of Adjaye Associates

(Image credit: Jeff Sauers)

Moscow School of Management, Skolkovo, Russia

Moscow School of Management, Skolkovo, Russia, 2010. Courtesy of Adjaye Associates

(Image credit: Ed Reeve)

Museum of Contemporary Art Denver, Denver, USA,

Museum of Contemporary Art Denver, Denver, USA, 2007. Courtesy of Adjaye Associates

(Image credit: Dean Kauffman)

Carriage House, New York, USA

Carriage House, New York, USA, 2010. Courtesy of Adjaye Associates

(Image credit: Lyndon Douglas)

Nobel Peace Center, Oslo, Norway

Nobel Peace Center, Oslo, Norway, 2005. Courtesy of Adjaye Associates

(Image credit: Tim Soar)

Nobel Peace Center, Oslo, Norway

Nobel Peace Center, Oslo, Norway, 2005. Courtesy of Adjaye Associates

(Image credit: Tim Soar)

Rivington Place, London, UK

Rivington Place, London, UK, 2007. Courtesy of Adjaye Associates

(Image credit: Lyndon Douglas)

Roksanda Ilincic, London, UK

Roksanda Ilincic, London, UK, 2014. Courtesy of Adjaye Associates

(Image credit: Ed Reeve)

Studio Museum in Harlem, New York, USA

Studio Museum in Harlem, New York, USA. Courtesy of Adjaye Associates

(Image credit: TBC)

Alara Concept Store, Lagos, Nigeria

Alara Concept Store, Lagos, Nigeria,2015. Courtesy of Adjaye Associates

(Image credit: Stuido Hans Wilschut)

Sugar Hill, New York, USA

Sugar Hill, New York, USA, 2014. Courtesy of Adjaye Associates

(Image credit: Ed Reeve)

William O. Lockridge/Bellevue Library, Washington DC,

William O. Lockridge/Bellevue Library, Washington DC, 2012. Courtesy of Adjaye Associates

(Image credit: Jeff Sauers)

Lost House, London, UK

Lost House, London, UK, 2004. Courtesy of Adjaye Associates

(Image credit: Lyndon Douglas.)

INFORMATION
Making Place: The Architecture of David Adjaye runs until 3 January 2016

ADDRESS

The Art Institute of Chicago (opens in new tab)
111 S Michigan Ave,
Chicago, IL 60603

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Ellie Stathaki is the Architecture Editor at Wallpaper*. She trained as an architect at the Aristotle University of Thessaloniki in Greece and studied architectural history at the Bartlett in London. Now an established journalist, she has been a member of the Wallpaper* team since 2006, visiting buildings across the globe and interviewing leading architects such as Tadao Ando and Rem Koolhaas. Ellie has also taken part in judging panels, moderated events, curated shows and contributed in books, such as The Contemporary House (Thames & Hudson, 2018) and Glenn Sestig Architecture Diary (2020).