September 8th, 2011
David Adjaye Dubbed Designer of the Year
by Brook S. Mason
London-based starchitect David Adjaye was named as the seventh Design Miami Designer of the Year on Sept. 6, 2011, in an exceedingly stylish setting, the townhouse he designed for contemporary art collectors Adam Lindemann and Amalia Dayan on Manhattan's Upper East Side. The Tanzanian-born architect, whose current projects include the Smithsonian Institution National Museum of African American Culture and History (set to open in 2015), has signed on to design the wooden entrance pavilion for the Design Miami fair, Nov. 30-Dec. 4, 2011, which coincides neatly with the Art Basel Miami Beach megafair during the first week in December.
"The Designer of the Year award is our version of the Academy Awards," said Miami developer Craig Robins,who dreamed up the Design Miami fair along with his city's burgeoning Design District. He referred to Adjaye's oeuvre as "a forum for art as well as is a catalyst for generating community." Robins is a heavyweight collector of both art and design. He's added 20 buildings to his Design District's holdings, which had already numbered 28 showrooms, warehouses and other structures.
The Adjaye-designed Lindemann house boasts 22-foot-tall ceilings, a dramatic waterfall, light-piercing window shafts, Brutalist concrete walls and a lime green laminated basement kitted out with specially commissioned Maarten Baas furniture fashioned of riveted, enamel-like plates akin to a crazy quilt in shades of turquoise and tobacco brown. The design holdings in the townhouse are spiked with examples by major names, from Maria Pergay to Ron Arad,and rival Lindemann's art collection in stature. Brooklyn Museum of Art director Arnold Lehman was sufficiently impressed to stake a claim. "This is our museum's new director's house," he joked.