National Museums Liverpool drops Adjaye Associates from International Slavery Museum project

Exterior of International Slavery Museum Liverpool

Architect David Adjaye has lost another large project in the wake of sexual assault allegations against him, as his studio is dropped from the International Slavery Museum redevelopment in Liverpool.

Adjaye Associates had been appointed to create the architectural design of the museum last year, with Ralph Appelbaum Associates set to create its exhibition design.

However, the National Museums Liverpool (NML), which commissioned the £57 million project, said it was severing ties with Adjaye Associates as it “felt there were some risks in terms of continuing our contract,” reported British newspaper the Financial Times (FT).

Organisation is looking for new architect 

While NML remains committed to the project, it will now start an “accelerated tender procurement” to find a new architect for it.

“National Museums Liverpool has taken the decision to terminate the contract with Adjaye Associates (AA),” a spokesperson for the museum told Dezeen.

“We would like to thank the AA team who have worked hard to bring the International Slavery Museum and Maritime Museum transformation project to a developed design stage,” it added.

“We remain committed to the project as we continue to build on the momentum already established and intend to start an accelerated tender procurement for new architects in the coming weeks.”

David Adjaye portrait
David Adjaye was accused of sexual assault by three women

The project was set to turn the museum’s existing Dr Martin Luther King Jr building into a new entrance to the International Slavery Museum and would add more retail and events spaces as well as a cafeteria and temporary exhibition spaces.

“This project presents us with an opportunity to reimagine the historic fabric of this Grade I Listed Building and to reposition it within the powerful context of Liverpool’s Waterfront and its relationship to the transatlantic slave trade,” Adjaye said at the time.

Ralph Appelbaum Associates is understood to be remaining on the job, reported Architects’ Journal.

NML latest institution to cut ties with Adjaye

NML is the latest institution to cancel upcoming projects by Adjaye’s studio after the architect was accused of sexual misconduct by three women who worked for him in 2018 and 2019.

According to the women, dealing with Adjaye caused them serious mental distress and financial difficulties, and disrupted their careers.

After an investigation by the FT detailed the allegations against the architect, which Adjaye denies, a number of institutions and organisations have dropped projects by the studio.

Among them is the Africa Institute in Sharjah, for which Adjaye was set to design a monolithic campus.

“The Africa Institute is deeply troubled by the recently reported allegations regarding David Adjaye, and we have made the decision to cancel the building project with Adjaye Associates,” president of the Africa Institute Hoor Al Qasimi said in a statement shared with Dezeen.

The architect has also relinquished his role as a design advocate for the mayor of London and left his role as a trustee at London’s Serpentine Galleries.

The Studio Museum in Harlem, whose new home was being designed by Adjaye, has also cut ties with the architect, as has the UK Holocaust Memorial, which said Adjaye will not be involved in the project “until the issues raised have been addressed”.

In a response to the sexual assault allegations, Adjaye told the FT: “I absolutely reject any claims of sexual misconduct, abuse or criminal wrongdoing. These allegations are untrue, distressing for me and my family and run counter to everything I stand for.”

The post National Museums Liverpool drops Adjaye Associates from International Slavery Museum project appeared first on Dezeen.

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