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Alchemy: The Material World of David Adjaye

Alchemy: The Material World of David Adjaye

Current price: $79.95
Publication Date: June 28th, 2023
Phaidon Press
The MIT Press Bookstore
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A fascinating new take on the architecture of Sir David Adjaye OM OBE, exploring how he chooses, uses, and combines materials, and the extraordinary buildings and structures that result

David Adjaye is one of the most in-demand architects today, known for his thoughtful interpretation of public spaces. In order to understand him as an architect, you must look at his projects through the lens of material – a crucial consideration in his practice. Organized into five sections – Stone/Concrete, Wood, Metal, Glass, and Rammed Earth – Alchemy reimagines the traditional architect monograph by examining the importance of material in architecture, a study vital to Adjaye and his design process.

In 2021, David Adjaye was awarded the RIBA Gold Medal, and he was among seven global leaders to receive a TIME100 Impact Award in 2022. The book features over 30 public, commercial, and residential projects around the world, from his 2001 Concrete Garden in London to the Amoako Boafo Gallery in Accra, Ghana, built with rammed earth and completed in 2022.

About the Author

Spencer Bailey is the co-founder of The Slowdown, co-host of the Time Sensitive podcast, and author of In Memory Of: Designing Cultural Memorials (Phaidon). He has written for publications such as The New York Times Magazine, Fortune,  Newsweek, and Town & Country. From 2013 to 2018, Bailey was the editor-in-chief of Surface magazine. He lives in New York City.

Praise for Alchemy: The Material World of David Adjaye

‘Alchemy focuses on the Ghanaian-British architect’s thoughtful use of essential building materials, from the metal of the openwork facade of the Smithsonian National Museum of African American History and Culture to the rammed earth of a new gallery in Accra, Ghana.’ – WSJ. Magazine

'Expect an ode to David Adjaye’s material sensibility—and an ode to materials more broadly.' – Fast Company 

‘A pleasure to see [Adjaye’s] tactile approach up close.’ – Curbed

‘Bailey deconstructs the typical architecture monograph to find new connections and meanings in Adjaye’s work.' – Fast Company

‘Bailey peels back the layers and reveals the connective tissue of the seminal architect’s work.’ – Scratching the Surface