David Adjaye, the acclaimed British-Ghanaian architect who designed the Smithsonian’s National Museum of African American History and Culture, in Washington, D.C., backed out a number of roles on Tuesday after The Financial Times reported that three former employees have accused him of sexual harassment and misconduct.
Mr Adjaye has resigned as an Architectural Adviser to the Mayor of London, and his work is on British Holocaust Memorial The business was suspended after the Financial Times reported that three women, who were not named, “accused him and his company of various forms of exploitation — from alleged sexual abuse and harassment by him to a toxic work culture — that had gone unchecked for years.”
In a statement on Tuesday, Mr Adjaye denied the accusations. “I completely reject any allegations of sexual misconduct, abuse or criminal wrongdoing,” he said in the statement, released by Kendal Advisory, a crisis management and communications firm. “These allegations are untrue, upsetting to me and my family and contradict everything I stand for.”
Mr Adjaye added that he was “ashamed to say that I have entered into relationships that, while completely consensual, have blurred the boundaries between my professional and personal life”. He said he was “deeply sorry” for this, and would “immediately seek professional assistance in order to learn from these mistakes to ensure they never happen again”.
A Kendal Advisory spokesperson declined to explain what this professional assistance would involve, describing it as a personal matter.
Mr. Adjaye’s design for the acclaimed National Museum of African American History and Culture, on the National Mall in Washington, has made him one of the most sought-after architects in the world. include his commissions Ghana National Cathedral; a museum in Nigeria showcasing African art; And Interfaith Center in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates.
In the statement, Mr Adjaye said he was also stepping down from ceremonial and guardianship roles so the allegations did not become a “distraction”.
In 2022 Sadiq Khan, Mayor of London, Mr Adjaye was appointed to a panel of 42 design advocates who advises the mayor on how to ensure “new buildings and public spaces will benefit all Londoners,” according to a press release. He quit the platform.
“Sir David Adjaye has relinquished his role as advocate for design,” a spokesperson for the mayor said in an email.
A spokesperson for the UK ministry that oversees the UK’s Holocaust Memorial and Learning Centre, in London, said in an email that the government was “aware of the allegations” and had spoken with Mr Adjaye’s architecture firm. “They have confirmed that Sir David will not be involved in the UK Holocaust Memorial Foundation project until the issues raised have been addressed,” the spokesperson said.
The Financial Times reported that one of the women alleged that Mr Adjaye sexually assaulted her, including in 2019 in a bathroom at an airport in Johannesburg. It reported that the woman said she tried to file a complaint with Mr. Adjaye’s company, but her concerns were dismissed. Mr Adjaye told the newspaper he had denied all allegations, including the alleged assault on pigeons.
In June, Mr. Adjaye opened his first residential tower in the United States, 130 William, in Manhattan. He also has Designed the planned new studio museum in Harlema Riverfront master plan for cleveland He is engaged to Reconstruction of the Princeton University Museum of Art.
In addition to securing high-profile commissions, Mr. Adjaye has over the past decade been a prominent advocate for the rights of underrepresented groups among architects, including women. in 2017 Dozen interviewan online design magazine, he said he found “exhausting that women are still fighting for gender equality.
He added, “We are in the 21st century, this is an old story, we have to get over it. I am embarrassed as a male.”
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