Internationally acclaimed Ghanaian-British architect, Sir David Adjaye, who has been criticised for securing multiple iconic projects in the country, has hit back at his critics, stating he is not in Ghana for the jobs per se.
According to him, Ghana deserves his ‘excellent expertise’ in architecture.
In an exclusive interview with Accra-based 3FM 92.7 Thursday, the renowned architect laughed off claims that he was in the country to hijack government projects to the disadvantage of local architects.
“…There is a sense that I’m somehow hoovering up work. I have no interest in hovering up any work. I’m interested in doing work where my expertise is of benefit to the nation,” he explained.
His company, Adjaye Associates, having designed the controversial Ghana National Cathedral and the new parliamentary chamber, is setting up a base in Ghana on the back of the huge potential in the country.
The architectural firm is also in charge of the architectural designs of the Ghana Marine Drive Master Plan and International Cancer Centre for Children as well as Trade Fair Centre Redesign and the GNPC Takoradi Office Complex.
But a consortium of Ghanaian architects protested the decision to give Adjaye Associates those multiple projects, citing unfairness, as well as a claim that the projects were awarded without recourse to the country’s procurement laws.
The consortium alleged the Adjaye Associate was not a licenced or registered architect to carry on the profession of Architect under the Architects Decree, 1968 (NRCD 357) as amended; claims Sir Adjaye has denied.
According to the man known for his iconic designs worldwide, his firm has since 2018 registered and dully issued with the licence required to operate in the country.
For him, the local architects protesting his exploits in Ghana should learn to embrace competition because “competition is very healthy”.
“I go for what I like to do” Sir Adjaye told Winston Amoah on 3FM Sunrise morning show.
“…if you have a big fish in a small pond, you will have to then grow your body too,” he told proverbially told the local architects.
He said some people consider him to be “too qualified to pitch for work” but described that notion as “very strange” noting that what the project awardees “want is the best people to do the work”.
Ghana needs my expertise
Sir Adjaye indicated his firm is currently setting up a base in Ghana to specifically undertake projects requiring special expertise, saying “I came specifically to do things where my expertise will be required”.
He explained that he is in Ghana for massive infrastructural projects requiring special skills as well as those that need the delivery team to deliver on time and on budget while meeting global standards at the same time.
“I wanted to bring that expertise to Ghana because Ghana deserves it not because I need the work,” he stated.
The projects that they have so far secured, he indicated, “allows people [his Ghanaian employees, including other Africans] to perform at the most high level”.
He indicated the “generation that we’re training will become very important leaders in the Ghanaian community in terms of design in the future”.