Members in the News

Obituary: Doreen Adengo (1976–2022)

by Alice Finney | Aug 01, 2022

Doreen Adengo

Doreen Adengo, founder of Ugandan architecture firm Adengo Architecture, has passed away following a long-term illness at the age of 45.


Adengo, who founded her studio Adengo Architecture in 2005, died on 22 July. Her best-known projects include a cluster of single-storey buildings called Bujuuko Schools and the L-Building, a mixed-use building in central Uganda.

"Pillar of the design industry in Uganda"

"It is with great sadness that Adengo Architecture announces the passing of our founder and principal, Doreen Adengo," said the studio in a statement.

"Doreen will be remembered for her friendship and kindness, her talent and integrity, and as a pillar of the design industry in Uganda and beyond."

Adengo was born in Uganda in 1976 and moved to the US when she was 18. She studied architecture at the Catholic University and completed a masters in architecture at Yale University before working at studios in the UK, Europe and the US.

She set up Kampala-based Adengo Architecture after returning to Uganda. The studio is known for its commitment to social housing and focuses on "affordable and sustainable" projects in the country.

Adengo "was a trailblazer"

She taught at The New School and Pratt Institute in New York, the University of Johannesburg's Graduate School of Architecture, Uganda Martyrs University and was a conservation architect at the Uganda Museum.

"Her legacy will live through those that she has inspired and touched in various areas including; academia, practise and advocacy, and yet her contribution to the world was felt beyond these fields," said the studio.

"Doreen was a trailblazer."

Earlier this year, Adengo was nominated by Nairobi architecture studio Cave Bureau co-founders Kabage Karanja and Stella Mutegi as one of fourteen architects and designers you should know.

Cave Bureau recognised Adengo for her ability to "enrich her contemporary projects with historical depth".

From SAH Member and Former President, Carol Krinsky:

"Doreen Adengo, who was the student/ recent graduate member of the SAH's memorable tour of South India in 2006, has died in Kampala, Uganda, at the age of 45. The cause was cancer.  Doreen was educated at Catholic University in Washington DC, for her undergraduate degree, and at Yale for her M. Arch.  She worked for various architectural firms, perhaps longest for RAM Stern Associates, and in time established her own firm in her home city of Kampala where she was a significant presence both in regard to new buildings and to the evaluation and adaptive reuse of older ones.  

Doreen was an intelligent, gracious person as well as an energetic and accomplished architect.  She was versatile in her interests and was increasingly invited to lecture or offer her ideas to audiences from Providence, RI, to architectural conference locations in African cities.  

Her contacts here and abroad will miss her, and lament the too-early conclusion of a promising career, one that had already earned her respect and friendship on two continents.  We will also miss her as a friend and good human being."

Doreen Adengo joined SAH in 2005.

Read the full obituary, including photographs here.


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