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David Adjaye, architect behind University Art Museum redesign, wins top architecture prize

<h5>David Adjaye, the architect of the new Princeton University Art Museum.</h5>
<h6>Courtesy of Wikimedia Commons</h6>
David Adjaye, the architect of the new Princeton University Art Museum.
Courtesy of Wikimedia Commons

While there is no Nobel Prize for Architecture, there are a number of coveted top prizes in the field. One of these prizes, the Royal Gold Medal, was recently awarded to Sir David Adjaye, whose firm, Adjaye Associates, is designing the new Princeton University Art Museum.  

The Royal Gold Medal is awarded annually by the Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA) and is given to recognize individuals or groups who have had a major influence “either directly or indirectly on the advancement of architecture.” Personally approved by the British monarch, the list of laureates reads like a veritable pantheon of architecture, including Frank Lloyd Wright, Le Corbusier, and Walter Gropius. On Sept. 30, RIBA announced that Adjaye would be added to this list. 


In the announcement for Adjaye’s award, RIBA specifically praised his long track record of contributions to architecture, with RIBA president Alan Jones stating that by “blending history, art, and science, [Adjaye] creates highly crafted and engaging environments that balance contrasting themes and inspire us all.” 

In 2018, it was announced that Adjaye and his firm would conduct the redesign of the Princeton University Art Museum, with construction slated to be completed in late 2024. The new design for the museum was revealed on Sept. 24, with Dezeen, an architecture and design magazine, calling the design “romantic and porous.” 

In response to the news of Adjaye’s award, the Princeton University Art Museum posted on Instagram in recognition of Adjaye and his team, with the museum’s director, James Steward, quoted as saying “Sir David’s work shows how architecture, practiced humanely and with humility, can be a source of solace that shapes our shared experience as human beings. I am overjoyed for David and his team.”