Ravensbourne architecture students enjoy visit from Adjaye Associates

Mole house - Adjaye Associates
Silhouette image in blue

Article by: Ravaé Richardson

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On Tuesday 18 May 2021, Ravensbourne BA (Hons) Architecture students will enjoy a talk from Yohannes Bereket, a Senior Associate from Adjaye Associates. The architecture firm is one of the most celebrated in the world, pioneering global award-winning buildings and memorials.

Adjaye Associates was founded in 2000 and ‘strives for an architecture that enriches daily life and meets the diverse needs of communities, from the intimate to the expansive.’ Founder Sir David Adjaye OBE was appointed Officer of the Order of the British Empire (OBE) in 2007 for services to British architecture and was knighted in 2017. In 2020, Sir David Adjaye OBE became the first black architect to be awarded a RIBA Royal Gold medal since its creation in 1848; this is the UK’s highest honour for architecture.

Tuesday Coffee talks

With stunning architecture influenced by music, science and African art forms, Adjaye Associates were the lead designers of the striking Smithsonian National Museum of African American History and Culture, in Washington, DC. In April 2021 they unveiled a memorial in tribute to the life of Cherry Groce, an innocent mother of six who was shot in her home in 1985 by the Metropolitan Police. Cherry Groce was left paralysed and her shooting led to the Brixton riots. The memorial in the centre of Windrush Square, Brixton encapsulates an integral part of black British history.

Yohannes Bereket will talk to our students about one of their last projects, the Mole House. Adjaye Associates have restored a house in London, highlighting the reuse of materials and narrative in a design that respects and enlivens the unique history of the building. The practice describes the design as ‘born from an archaeological exercise’, ‘an unearthing of up to 2,000 tonnes of filler concrete revealing several years of fossilised domestic history’.

Mole House Exterior

Architecture Course Leader, Alberto Villanueva commented, "We are excited to welcome Yohannes and learn about his journey working with Sir David Adjaye. At Ravensbourne, we believe his journey and vision reflects what we are working to achieve with our community of students: an understanding of the social ramifications of Architecture through a creative process of design and collaboration. 

Mole House Interior

Adjaye spent his childhood across Africa, as well as his training in art and architecture between London and Japan.  He has experienced diversity as a multiplicity of different geographies, languages and cultures, as well as urban spaces, terrains and climates across Africa. This kind of ‘internationalism’ became one of the key foundations for the development of his “strategic view” as one of the most notorious creators in the world today and represents such an inspiration for us all."

Students can join the talk on Tuesday 18 May at 4.00pm. You can find out more about our previous TUESDAY coffee talks on our website. You can find out more about Sir David Adjaye OBE on Stirworld.

Photography is by Ed Reeve and adjaye.com