People, Projects & Changing the World

Pascale Sablan

Pascale Sablan is CEO of Adjaye Associates’s New York office. (Stanley Jordan)

Last summer, The Financial Times published an article containing allegations of sexual misconduct against David Adjaye by three female former employees. As a result, some clients walked away from projects, staff sought other work, and a general sense of the architect being “canceled” set in. Regarding the claims, Adjaye has said: “I categorically reject any allegations of sexual misconduct or abuse. They are untrue, distressing for me and my family, and run counter to everything I stand for.” He hasn’t stepped away from his eponymous practice. Though it has been restructured, he remains its executive chair and principal.

In New York, Adjaye Associates works from part of a floor in One Liberty Plaza. Music plays in the open office, which boasts a well-equipped model shop. (Adjaye’s personal office is behind a single, closed swing door to one side.) The studio, which handles projects in North America, South America, and the Caribbean, is currently designing two high-profile commissions—the Princeton University Art Museum and the Studio Museum in Harlem—nearing completion. This location is 76 percent BIPOC, and globally the practice of over 150 people is 82 percent diverse and 67 percent of the staff identify as Black.

The New York office is led by Pascale Sablan as CEO, a prominent architect who is currently president of the National Organization of Minority Architects (NOMA). Sablan is a welcome force—she is people-focused, at once driven and down to earth. AN’s executive editor, Jack Murphy, sat down with her to discuss her work and how Adjaye Associates is moving forward.