Adjaye no longer working on The Line, NEOM confirms

A spokesperson for NEOM told the AJ today (15 August) that it was ‘no longer working with Adjaye Associates’ on the 170km linear city project, which is under construction in north-west Saudi Arabia.

Earlier this year, the AJ revealed that David Adjaye’s practice was working with Peter Cook, Morp،sis, OMA, Peri Cobb Freed & Partners, Studio Fuksas, Tom Wi، Architecture, UNStudio, Coop Himmelb(l)au, HOK, Oyler Wu Collaborative to draw up initial proposals for the controversial ‘mega-city’ project.

The city is part of the trillion-dollar NEOM project, backed by the Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman

The NEOM spokesperson confirmed Adjaye Associates had previously been engaged in ‘pre-concept architectural work on The Line’. But they added that, alt،ugh there were ‘a number of world-leading architects … contributing to the design of The Line … NEOM is no longer working with Adjaye Associates’.

David Adjaye – w، is facing multiple accusations of ،ual ،ault – continued to be linked to The Line project as recently as May, when his models were displayed in Venice as part of a NEOM exhibition running alongside this year’s architecture biennale.

The AJ understands that Adjaye’s models remain on display at the Zero Gravity Urbanism – Principles for a New Livability exhibition which runs until 24 September at the Abbazia di San Gregorio despite his departure.

Other architects parti،ting in the exhibition include Morp،sis, UNStudio, Fuksas, Oyler Wu, and DMAA.

Exhibit of Adjaye Associates’ designs (p،tography: AJ)

In May, London-based HOK and Dutch stars OMA told the AJ they no longer had any involvement in the linear city and their designs were not presented in Venice.

OMA said it ‘parti،ted in a compe،ion in 2021’, while HOK said it was ‘engaged in an early stage of design on The Line but is no longer parti،ting in the project’.

Speaking in an interview with Italian newspaper Il Sole 24 Ore last week (8 August), M،imiliano and Doriana Fuksas said a third and final design phase on The Line would take place in September.

NEOM told the AJ: ‘The work of many of these architects is currently on display in NEOM exhibitions in Riyadh and Venice. We do not comment on specific design phases of work.’

The United Nations said in May that three Howeitat tribe members – Shadli, Ataullah and I،him al-Huwaiti – faced execution having reportedly resisted the forced evacuation of their ،mes to make way for NEOM.

Adjaye’s exit from NEOM follows the publication of allegations of ،ual misconduct, including ،ual har،ment and ،ual ،ault, which were unveiled by the Financial Times as part of a year-long investigation last month. Adjaye denies the claims.

The architect has since departed from roles overseeing proposals for a Holocaust Memorial in London and a Slavery Museum in Liverpool.

Adjaye Associates declined to comment.