You enter into a room with photographs of monuments going back millennia in time. These, says David Adjaye, are the inspiration for the seven projects on show at the Design Museum in a beautifully designed exhibition in darkened spaces in which models and other exhibits glow against a backcloth of videos and computer images of the different projects, many of which have yet to be executed.
On show are the designs for the Gwangju River Reading Room in South Korea, the Smithsonian National Museum of African American History and Culture in Washington, the UK Holocaust Memorial and Learning Centre in London, the Sclera Pavilion in London, the National Cathedral of Ghana, the Mass Extinction Memorial Observatory on the Isle of Portland and the proposed Coretta Scott King and Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial in Boston.
This is an inspiring exhibition which reinforces the importance of creative architects such as Adjaye at a time when the profession’s reputation seems to have lost its oomph. It seems that the best architectural exhibitions are being held at the Royal Academy (Renzo Piano) and the Design Museum (David Adjaye). Could the RIBA being doing more as the architectural professional body?