Kunlé Adeyemi (born urbanist and creative researcher. Adeyemi is founder and principal of NLÉ, an architecture, design and urbanism practice, based in Amsterdam, in the Netherlands. Adeyemi studied at the University of Lagos in Nigeria and Princeton University in New Jersey, the United States. Before starting his own office in the Netherlands, he worked nearly a decade at Office for Metropolitan Architecture (OMA).7 April 1976) is a Nigerian architect,
Adekunle Adeyemi was born and raised in Kaduna, in the north of Nigeria, and studied and started his early career in Lagos. His father was a modernist architect and started one of the first indigenous architecture firms in North Nigeria in the 1970s. In his mid-teens, Adeyemi had the opportunity to design his first house, for a friend of his father.
Adeyemi studied architecture at the University of Lagos in Nigeria, and finished his Bachelor as Best Graduate. In 2005, Adeyemi received a Post-Professional degree at Princeton University School of Architecture in New Jersey. At that university, Adeyemi investigated together with Peter Eisenman, the rapid urbanisation and the role of market economies in developing cities of the Global South, focusing on Lagos.
In his early career, Adeyemi worked on projects in Lagos, Abuja and other parts of Nigeria. After that, Adeyemi joined OMA (The Office for Metropolitan Architecture) in 2002, where he was Senior Associate and worked for about nine years alongside its award-winning founder Rem Koolhaas. There, Adeyemi led the following projects, in different stages:
- Qatar Foundation Headquarters, the Central Library and the Strategic Studies Center, in the Education City in Doha
- The 4th Mainland Bridge and Master Plan in Lagos
- The Prada Transformer project in 2009
- New Court Rothschild Bank project in London (2006). This bank is about to open soon
- Master plan concept for Abuja – AIST, Nigeria in 2006 for the Nelson Mandela African Institute of Science and Technology
- Shenzhen Stock Exchange in 2006, opened in November 2007
- The Seoul National University Museum project in 2005
- The S-project Masterplan for Seoul in 2004
- The Leeum Museum in Seoul in 2004.
Current work and projects
Currently, Adeyemi runs his own architecture, design and urbanism practice called NLÉ, located in Amsterdam. NLÉ means 'at home' in Yoruba. With his office NLÉ, Adeyemi is interested in elements that make up a city. He focuses especially on the rapidly growing cities in developing countries. Adeyemi seeks the logic in systems that arise in the rapid development of those cities. He observes and questions the existing systems within these cities, and creates new solutions inspired by his own 'reading' of those systems. Adeyemi is convinced that there is much to learn from the type of condition that is found in rapidly developing, energetic cities, like one of Africa's most populated cities Lagos in Nigeria. NLÉ offers a strategy advisory service and focuses on city development research, conceptualisation, creative structuring, architectural-, product- and infrastructure design, arts and urban cultural intervention. Among others, Adeyemi conducted with NLÉ the following activities:
- Building prototype housing for urban tropic environment.
- ‘Queensday Lagos’, to exchange the Dutch Queensday experience with inhabitants of Lagos by video conferencing
- Lagos Photo project with the African Artists' Foundation.
- Makoko Floating School (collapsed June 2016)
Adeyemi gave and gives lectures and workshops at universities and conferences in Amsterdam, Zurich, Delft, Guggenheim, and published several articles on architecture and urbanism:
- Adeyemi is 2011 Callison Distinguished Visiting Lecturer of the University of Washington, faculty of Architecture, teaching and researching 'The Modern City in the Age of Globalization' in Chandigarh, together with Dr. Vikramaditya Prakash, following-up Glenn Murcutt.
- At PICNIC 2011 (yearly creative conference), Adeyemi spoke about organic urban growth versus city planning
- Adeyemi was visiting critic at the Harvard Graduate School of Design in America, the Architectural Association in London, and the Berlage Institute in Rotterdam
- Adeyemi published the article "Urban Craw" in the LOG Journal, summer/fall 2007, about Observation on Architecture and Contemporary Cities
- In 2006, Adeyemi was keynote speaker at the Guggenheim Symposium "Contamination, Impure Architecture", next to Zaha Hadid, Sanford Kwinter, and Alex McDowell
- Adeyemi was in 2006 a teacher at the Urban Body Studio of the Delft University of Technology, Faculty of Architecture.
- Adeyemi joined Architecture for Humanity as competition juror and project reviewer.
- Lagos Insider's Guide 2011/12 A Time Out Nigeria magazine on the 'Best of Lagos', published July 2011, containing an interview with Adeyemi.
- De Toekomst van gebouwd Afrika, Meeting at the NAI (8 April 2011) Where Kunlé Adeyemi attended as discussion panel member.
- Mapping Madrid (2006) Urban project in which Adeyemi joined as teacher.
- NLÉ Company website from the office NLÉ.
- Delft University of Technology website, where Adeyemi gave a Lunch Lecture at the faculty of Architecture, about Architects in Africa (25 March 2010).
- Albena Yaneva (2009). Made by the Office for Metropolitan Architecture: An Ethnography of Design. 010 Publishers. pp. 41f. ISBN 978-90-6450-714-4.
- Trouw Interview with Kunlé Adeyemi about rapidly developing cities in Africa.
- Month of Design Conference 2008 At which Adeyemi spoke about design interventions in Asia.
- OMA website About the Prada Transformer Project.
- OMA website About the Rothschild Bank Project.
-  About noteworthy buildings in the UK: amongst others, the New Court Rothschild Bank.
- OMA website About the Abuja master plan concept.
- Press release About the start of the construction work for the Shenzhen Stock Exchange building.
- OMA website About the Shenzen Stock Exchange Project.
- Article on Architectenweb About the opening of the Shenzen Stock Exchange Building.
- OMA website About the Seoul University Museum project.
- CNN Interview documentary with Adeyemi and Koolhaas about the Seoul University Museum design.
- OMA website About the Seoul S-project.
- Article in the New Yorker About Intelligent Design.
- OMA website About the LEUUM project.
- Facebook Grouppage of NLÉ.
- Lagos Photo Project Photo exhibition in Lagos, November 2010.
- Blog Chandigarh India Program from University of Washington's Faculty of Architecture
- PICNIC Yearly creative event in Amsterdam.
- Log Journal Issue summer/fall 2007.
- Guggenheim symposium in 2006 Where Adeyemi spoke about Impure Architecture.
- Website Architecture for Humanity Where Adeyemi is former juror and project reviewer.