Architecture is often intertwined with political context. This deep connection is especially evident in Northern Ireland, a place of infamously complex politics. The state came into existence as a consequence of war in 1921, when Ireland was partitioned into an independent Irish Free State (now the Republic of Ireland) and Northern Ireland, an industrious region still controlled by Britain. Conflict has since ensued in Northern Ireland between a majority pro-British Unionist population, and a minority, though significant, Irish Nationalist community. The latter half of the twentieth century witnessed a brutal struggle, with over three thousand people killed, thousands more injured, and harrowing images spread across the world.
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A team composed of Feng Xue, Helen Chan, and Oscar Reyes (FOH) has won Director’s Choice Award in the AC-CA competition to design a contemporary footbridge in Dublin, Ireland. Entitled The Catalyst, the team’s proposal aims to become “a dynamic link which stimulates diverse urban activities and facilitates a spectacular cityscape.”
“When you read Love in the Time of Cholera you come to realize the magic realism of South America.” Yvonne Farrell, Shelley McNamara and I were in a corner of the Barbican Centre’s sprawling, shallow atrium talking about the subject of their most recent accolade, the Royal Institute of British Architects inaugural International Prize, awarded that previous evening. That same night the two Irish architects, who founded their practice in Dublin in the 1970s, also delivered a lecture on the Universidad de Ingeniería and Tecnologia (UTEC)—their “modern-day Machu Picchu” in Lima—to a packed audience in London’s Portland Place.
The Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA) have revealed the Universidad de Ingeniería y Tecnología (UTEC), located in Lima and designed by Dublin-based practice Grafton Architects, as the winner of the inaugural RIBA International Prize. A longlist of thirty projects, published in May of this year, was narrowed down to six in October before a grand jury—chaired by Richard Rogers—selected the scheme as "an exceptional example of civil architecture."
As part of ArchDaily's coverage of the 2016 Venice Biennale, we are presenting a series of articles written by the curators of the exhibitions and installations on show.
Losing Myself, a collaborative exhibition by Níall McLaughlin and Yeoryia Manolopoulou, will be presented at the Ireland Pavilion at the 2016 Venice Architecture Biennale. Focusing on Alzheimer's Disease, the exhibition highlights the process of “designing and revisiting buildings for people who have dementia.” The exhibit contains two main components: a website that arranges a series of drawings, stories, and research on dementia; and an installation in the pavilion, which contains drawings that explore a building designed for people with dementia.
At the dawn of the age of transatlantic commercial aviation, Shannon, a small town on the west coast of Ireland, was thrust into the spotlight. By 1959 it had been developed as the world’s first Free Trade Zone and New Town, providing a new—and persistent—business model for US multinationals seeking cheaper ways to operate in Europe. On the other side of the world, China was beginning to develop its urbanisation policy and was interested in how Shannon had successfully decentralised its administration from Dublin. After many visits in the early 1980s by Chinese leaders to study this model, under the direction of Deng Xiaoping, the Shannon planning system was used as a template in the formation of Shenzhen and has since been rolled across China.
Níall McLaughlin Architects, based between the United Kingdom and Ireland, have been selected to represent Ireland at the 2016 Venice Biennale. The practice, who were shortlisted this year for the RIBA Stirling Prize, will be working alongside Yeoryia Manolopoulo, an architectural academic based in London. Their proposal "reflects their interest in working as architects to understand and improve the quality of life for those suffering from Alzheimer’s disease [by examining] the spatial experiences of people with Alzheimer’s whilst recognising that the experiences of the sufferer are unlikely to resemble any conventional architectural representation."
Belfast-based Hall McKnight are set to open a pop-up pavilion in London's King's Cross as part of the 2015 London Festival of Architecture. Located in Cubitt Square, the project forms part of the New Horizon’s initiative, supported by the Irish Architecture Foundation and ID15 (the year of Irish Design 2015). The structure, built from a collection of cut boards, "explores how the phenomenon of the city is assembled from individual pieces." The interior spaces will feature an installation of bricks reclaimed from a street of row houses in Belfast.
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