Architecture, a field traditionally dominated by men, has witnessed a surge in female participation in recent years.
Setting a remarkable example in this regard is Olajumoke Adenowo, an award-winning Nigerian builder who has left an indelible mark on the industry.
Adenowo’s Impressive Portfolio
Over the course of her career, Adenowo has amassed an impressive CV by spearheading numerous world-class projects.
Notable among these are the Nigerian Stock Exchange edifice, the Heritage Bank Headquarters, and the Ekiti State Liaison Office based in Lagos.
Her exceptional work has gained recognition from both local and international news outlets.
The Inspiration to Foster Change
Adenowo attributes her decision to enter the architectural field to a life-changing trip to Paris.
Awed by the magnificent structures she encountered, she felt compelled to bring similar architectural marvels to Africa.
Rapid Career Growth
Initially starting at Femi Majekodunmi Associates architectural firm, Adenowo’s dedication and passion propelled her through the ranks.
She reminisces about spending countless hours at the office, even sacrificing leisurely activities, a testament to her unwavering commitment.
Recognizing her potential, her boss lent her valuable support, allowing her talent to flourish.
Adenowo fervently believes that Africa needs more mentors like her boss, who can foster the rapid growth of the younger generation.
In the media, Olajumoke Adenowo has earned the title “Africa’s Starchitect” according to CNN, while The Guardian (Nigeria) recognizes her as “the face of Architecture in Nigeria.”
In 2018, the Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA) acknowledged her as one of the inspirational women in contemporary architecture.
Adenowo’s prominence extends to various publications including Architectural Record, Fortune Magazine, Bauwelt, Suddeuce Zeitung, and Forbes Africa.
In academia, she was appointed a Visiting Professor at Technische Universitat Munchen (TUM) in Germany in 2019. Recognized as a Laureate and Guest Scientist at the Chair of Theory, History of Architecture, and Art & Design at the university’s Department of Architecture, this appointment is a collaboration with the Bavarian Ministry of Education.
Her monograph, “Neo Heritage; Defining Contemporary African Architecture,” represents a milestone as the first work by a black architect published by Rizzoli, a leading Art, Architecture, and Design Publisher.
Apart from her architectural ventures, Adenowo founded and operated Advantage Energy, an oil and gas services firm.
As a public speaker, Adenowo is acknowledged as a thought leader on Architecture, the Arts, leadership, Youth, and Women’s Empowerment.
She frequently addresses international summits and conferences, including the McKenzie Executive leadership platform, Harvard Business School (African Business Club), SOLVE at MIT, Haust Der Kunst (Munich), the Institute of Directors, the Global Women’s Forum, and Cambridge University African Society, among others.
Since 2011, she has hosted a syndicated radio show and podcast on leadership called “Voice of Change” and has been featured by international media outlets such as CNN and Fortune.
Establishing a Legacy
At the young age of 25, Adenowo founded her own company, which has since grown into a world-renowned architectural firm.
Through innovation, perseverance, and a steadfast vision, she has transformed her company into the epitome of excellence within the industry.
Recognitions and Awards
Adenowo’s incredible achievements have not gone unnoticed.
She has been honored with prestigious accolades, including the International Alliance for Women World of Difference 100 Award, the Rare Gems Award, the New African Business Woman of the Year Award, and the International Property Awards, African Property Awards.
Olajumoke Adenowo, the trailblazing builder, has shattered gender barriers and emerged as the face of architecture in Nigeria.
Her passion, talent, and commitment have not only set her apart but have also opened doors for countless aspiring architects.
With her remarkable portfolio and unyielding determination, Adenowo continues to inspire and pave the way for a more diverse and inclusive architectural landscape in Nigeria.