Skip navigation
Share this page


The architectural team is a collaboration of four firms: The Freelon Group; Adjaye Associates; Davis Brody Bond; and the SmithGroup.

Principal Architects

Philip Freelon.

Philip Freelon, FAIA LEED AP, having led the programming effort, has the primary role of assuring adherence of the design to the program and vision and will serve as Design Guarantor.

Founded in 1990, the Freelon Group has earned recognition for its design of museums with African and African American themes. Of note are the Reginald F. Lewis Museum of Maryland African American History and Culture in Baltimore and the Museum of the African Diaspora in San Francisco—both winners of multiple AIA design awards—and the Harvey B. Gantt Center for African American Arts and Culture in Charlotte, NC.

David Adjaye.

David Adjaye, RIBA, now recognized as one of the leading architects of his generation in the UK and beyond, serves as Lead Designer for the project. Adjaye will focus on the formal development and refinement of the building design.

Winner of the Royal Institute of British Architects award in 1993, Adjaye has designed the Nobel Peace Centre in Oslo, Norway, and other projects in both the UK and US, including the Museum of Contemporary Art in Denver, Rivington Place and the Idea Store in London.

Adjaye brings an internationally acclaimed design expertise and a global perspective to the design of this Museum. His designs have been the subject of two books, David Adjaye Houses: Recycling, Reconfiguring, Rebuilding and David Adjaye: Making Public Buildings, and he has presented numerous television and radio programs on architecture for the BBC, including Building Africa: Architecture of a Continent in 2005.