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5 Pioneering Black Architects and Their Groundbreaking Designs

As a field that once excluded the efforts of Black architects, diversity is crucial within the architectural world today. Due to the diversification of the field, the contributions of Black architects have populated the streetscape with innovative and equally iconic structures, drawing inspiration from their multi-cultural backgrounds, and altering the global landscape forever.


This month, in celebration of innovative Black figures across various fields, we are highlighting 5 Black pioneers of architecture, and some of their most notable buildings.



Sklarek is the first African American woman architect to be registered in both New York and California. For her groundbreaking presence in the architectural world, Sklarek has been deemed the "Rosa Parks of architecture", known for design of the United States Embassy in Tokyo, Japan.


Bond is responsible for designing some of this country’s most renowned Civil Rights Institutions and educational centers, such as the NYPL's Harlem's Schomburn Center for Research in Black Culture. The last project he worked on was designing the museum section of the National September 11 Museum and Memorial at the World Trade Center.


Founder of Dream Awake Inc., a full-service Interior, Architecture and Experiential Design studio. Bailey-Babenzien is also the co-founder of fashion brand, NOAH, alongside with her husband who is also a designer.


Nigerian architect and founder of Atelier Masomi, an architecture and research firm located in Niger, Kamara focuses on open concept spaces and utilizes locally sourced materials from Africa in her builds. Kamara's first major project was her design of a large apartment complex, along with collaborators Yasaman Esmaili, Elizabeth Golden and Philip Sträter, called the Niamey 200.


As the architect behind the Smithsonian Institute’s National Museum of African American History and Culture in Washington D.C., Ghanaian-British architect Sir David Adjaye has receive several accolades for this stunning designs. Most notably, Adjaye was knighted in 2017, at the New Year Honors for his services to architecture, which is celebrated across the globe.

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