Regardless of the size of the buildings they build, most architects exist in neatly labelled compartments. Adjaye is an exception. Yes, he’s done nightclubs, bars and movie stars’ mansions. But he’s also taken on commissions in Accra, Lagos and Dakar, as well as some of the most emotionally fraught public projects of recent times. This versatility may in part be down to his peripatetic childhood – his father was a diplomat. Many believe the design that will define his career is the National Museum of African-American History and Culture in Washington, DC. Its tiered shape – golden, crown-like – is both beautiful and moving, echoing the traditional forms of the Yoruba people of West Africa. His breadth of vision, looking beyond the usual reference points, is what makes him such a powerful voice on the global architectural landscape.