David Adjaye receives knighthood for services to architecture
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David Adjaye receives knighthood for services to architecture

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I would like to thank Her Majesty the Queen for this incredible privilege, which I see as a celebration of the potential architecture has to effect positive social change
– David Adjaye

UPDATE: British architect David Adjaye has been knighted by the Duke of Cambridge during an Investiture ceremony held today (12 May) at Buckingham Palace, London.

Adjaye declared himself “truly honoured and humbled” after receiving the accolade in the 2017 New Year's Honours List for his services to architecture.

Sir David – whose leisure projects include The Nobel Peace Center in Oslo, the Sugar Hill mixed-use complex in New York and the recently-opened National Museum of African American History and Culture in Washington D.C – pledged to be a “global cultural ambassador for the UK” on a mission to improve people’s lives through the built environment.

He said: “I see this not as a personal celebration, but as a celebration of the vast potential – and responsibility – for architecture to effect positive social change, that we as architects have to bring something positive to the world."

The 50-year-old – who was previously named an Officer of the Order of the British Empire (OBE) in 2007 – was one of CLADmag’s cover stars last year, and in an exclusive interview he expanded on his belief in the power of architecture as a force for good.

“My ideal is to be able to explore new typologies, experiment with different materials and establish a meaningful connection to contemporary culture while exploring a social discourse,” he said.

“The simple act of building forces engagement – you can’t ignore it. Things always happen from that and the question is how we celebrate it or deny it. It is important not to be hampered or intimidated by the idea of difference – but rather to seek to be open and even speculative about the possibilities it offers.”

The architect’s studio, Adjaye Associates, are currently working on a host of high-profile projects, including the Latvian Museum of Contemporary Art, the San Francisco Shipyard leisure district and a 30ft high community ‘Art Wall’ in the US city of Newark. They are also shortlisted, with Ron Arad, in the competition to design the new National Memorial to the Holocaust in London.

David Adjaye joins only a handful of architects to have been knighted – among them Norman Foster (1990), Richard Rogers (1991), Michael Hopkins (1995), Nicholas Grimshaw (2002), Peter Cook (2007) and David Chipperfield (2010).

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British architect David Adjaye has declared himself 'truly honoured and humbled' after receiving a knighthood in the 2017 New Year's Honours List for his services to architecture.
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Adjaye said he was 'honoured and humbled' to receive the knighthood, and pledged to be a cultural ambassador for the UK / Jonathan Brady/PA Wire/PA Images

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