Ghanaian architect who designed US’ African American museum honoured
A renowned Ghanaian architect, Mr David Adjaye, has been honoured by the National Development Planning Commission (NDPC) for his outstanding achievement in architecture. He was presented with a citation by the Chairman of the NDPC, Professor Kwesi Botchwey, at the ArchiAfrika Design and Architecture Gallery at James Town in Accra last Friday. Mr Adjaye is best known for his work as the designer of the National Museum of African American History and Culture recently opened by President Barack Obama in Washington DC in the United States of America (USA). Other works by the architect include the Nobel Peace Centre in Oslo, Norway, and the Museum of Contemporary Art in Denver, USA. Presenting the citation, Prof. Botchwey commended Mr Adjaye for “demonstrating through your design work an abiding commitment to the principles of inclusion, equity and the creativity of the Ghanaian spirit. For your outstaning achievements in architecture.” Giving a personal testimony, Dr. Botchwey said, “I once drove past the iconic Museum of African American history in Washington and I wondered who designed it. When I found out that it was a Ghanaian, I was so proud of this country. We must, therefore, duly recognise the work of David to inspire the upcoming generation of architects.’’ The NDPC chairman explained that architecture was an important component in the development of the country owing to the significant role it played in shaping the development of communities. “Architecture fits into the NDPC’s ongoing preparation for a long-term national development plan which duly recognises the importance of developing sustainable cities marked by architectural beauty of a special African character in the context of a safe community,” he stated. Prof. Botchwey added that in the long-term national development plan, architects would be at the forefront of addressing what he described as “the chaos and problems of our cities”. “Architects are needed not only to preserve the beauty of our cities and communities but also to make them sustainable,” he added.
Mr Adjaye expressed appreciation to the NDPC for recognising his works and also bestowing honours on him. “I am very honoured to receive this citation. It means a lot to me. I love my country and the people who have been supporting me for many years,” he stated. Mr Adjaye explained that architecture was the backbone of any civilisation across the world: “Architecture defines our civilisation and the mental state of our people.” “We can, therefore, use it to do a lot to change the lives of our people,” he indicated.