Woman Crush Wednesday: Architect Olajumoke Adenowo

by Duchess Magazine

She was referred to as “Africa’s Starchitect” by CNN and as “the face of architecture in Nigeria” by The Guardian (Nigeria). In 2018, the Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA) named her one of the influential women in architecture. She is Olajumoke Oluwafunmilayo Adenowo.

Born on October 16, 1968, to Nigerian history and criminology professors in Ibadan, Oyo State, Nigeria. She founded AD Consulting, her own architecture and interior design firm in 1994.

In 1999, Adenowo established the Awesome Treasures Foundation (ATF), a non-governmental and faith-based organisation that has been approved by the US Congress and the UN. With the goal of developing transformative leaders for peace and advancement, the Awesome Treasures Foundation works on six continents with the help of volunteers and partners. The foundation’s goal is to develop 1,000 leaders by 2030, focusing particularly on women and young people.

Adenowo once acknowledged that her early trips to Paris and the Palais de Versailles, together with her residence on the campus of Obafemi Awolowo University, sparked her interest in architecture. These influenced her design ethos: Neo-Heritage Architectural Style

Architect Adenowo began attending Obafemi Awolowo University at the age of 14, and at the age of 19, she earned a Bachelor of Science with Honours in Architecture. She was awarded the Best Student Design award while she was a freshman. In 1991, she graduated with honours from the same university with a Master of Architecture.

Adenowo was employed by Towry Coker Associates as an Assistant Architect upon his graduation from college. Later, she worked at Femi Majekodunmi Associates in Lagos as an architect. At age 23, she worked in Abuja on a project for the Federal Ministry of Finance.

Adenowo established her specialised architecture and interior design firm, AD Consulting, in 1994 when she was 25 years old. Over 114 projects have been designed and built by AD Consulting since its beginning. These consist of institutional structures, office complexes, mixed use developments, auditoria, private residences, healthcare facilities, industrial campuses and Master plans. AD’s clients span national and multi-national clients, including Coca-Cola, L’Oreal, Access Bank plc and Guaranty Trust Bank.Adenowo has been featured in the architectural journal Architectural Record.. Fortune Magazine, Bauwelt , Suddeuce Zeitung , Forbes Africa etc.

She also attended the Lagos Business School Chief Executive Programme in 2002, the Yale School of Management in 2016, the Harvard Kennedy School in 2019 and the IESE Business School at the University of Navarra in Barcelona, Spain, in 2005.

Olajumoke is happily married to Olukorede Adenowo and their union is blessed with two sons.

Awards and Recognitions

  • Included in the “Who Will Be Who in The 21st Century” by the International Biographical Centre in Cambridge, UK 1991
  • The IDEA Awards Best Commercial Designer 2012
  • The International Property Awards (Best Public Service Architecture, 2012)
  • The African Property Awards (Best Mixed-Use Architecture; 2013
  • Best Office Architecture and Best Public Service Architecture, 2013
  • The IDEA Awards Best Interior Architect 2013
  • The Ekiti State Merit Awards, 2014
  • IDEA Awards (Best Institutional Architect 2014)
  • New African Woman in Business Award 2016
  • Africa’s Most Inspiring Business Woman by the La Batisseurs Des Economie De L’Afrique 2017.
  • Ambassador of Excellence for outstanding achievements in architecture and women’s development Obafemi Awolowo University 2018
  • Forbes Woman Africa Entrepreneur of the Year 2020
  • Forbes Africa 50 Most Powerful Women in Africa 2020
  • Featured on the Wall of Fame, Obafemi Awolowo University, Ile -Ife 2021
  • Forbes Africa 50 Over 50 Most Powerful Women in Africa 2023
  • United States Congress in 2023 for her impact on Leadership and Philanthropy.
  • Featured in the Hall of Fame of people of Black ancestry at the University of West England, Bristol.
  • The International Alliance for Women World of Difference 100 Award

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