British-Ghanaian architect Sir David Adjaye this week became the first black recipient of the highest honour bestowed upon someone in his profession in the UK – the Gold Medal from the Royal Institute of British Architects, which is personally approved by the Queen.

His work includes the Museum of African American History in the US, a high-end retail space in Nigeria and a memorial in South Africa.

He is currently involved in several projects in Ghana, which is where his parents are from – including the design of a national cathedral.

“David’s contribution to architecture and design globally is already astounding, and I am excited that we have so much more of it to look forward to,” said RIBA president Alan Jones.

Sir David said that he hoped that his winning the award would “break a glass ceiling”.

“That was very important for not just me but all the black designers around the world who have been excluded from awards,” he told the BBC’s Focus on Africa radio programme.

“I hope this… allows more and more black designers to be celebrated.”