“The relationship between water and the city can be very seamless. I’m always very inspired by the environment and by a place like Amsterdam where that seems to be working quite well.”


Kunle Adeyemi’s projects center on building around water, and even on top of it.

Recognizing that nearly 70% of the world capital cities are built by water, Adeyemi has made it his mission to future-proof our urban centers by teaching them to live on top of our lakes, rivers, and seas.

It’s Nghia’s mission to inject more green spaces into the urban landscape. In his home city, Ho Chi Minh City, there is that one square meter of greenery per person (compared to Hong Kong’s 50m2 per person, for example.) Nghia’s projects – such as his plantpot-like House for Trees – find creative ways to reintroduce wildlife.

The Master: Why I chose Kunlé Adeyemi

“It’s actually hard to believe that there was a time in the ’70s that people thought cutting down trees in cities was a way to get a modern city,” says internationally heralded architect David Adjaye.

“Lots of people place trees around you, but he incorporates it into the DNA of the architecture. If you strip the nature out of his architecture, you strip the architecture.”

Daniel Libeskind, the architect behind The World Trade Center ground zero master plan, adds his praise: “I was very impressed by the notion to use local materials, in a modest way, but at the same time to create really bold architectural statements.”

What the fans say

In his words