This year, architecture’s highest honor, the Pritzker Prize, has been granted to Grafton Architects' Yvonne Farrell and Shelley McNamara of Dublin, Ireland. The 2020 Laureates, who are both educators and architects, are known for their powerful yet delicate approaches. Their contextual and modern interventions are very attentive to history, demonstrating high levels of sensitivity and craftsmanship. In just over 40 years, the duo has completed numerous projects that helped enhance cities and respond to local needs in Ireland, the United Kingdom, France, Italy, and Peru. Farrell and McNamara, the 47th and 48th Laureates of the Pritzker Prize, are the first two female recipients of the award from Ireland. The duo behind the 2018 Venice Biennale, who describes architecture “as one of the most complex and important cultural activities on the planet”, met at the School of Architecture at University College Dublin (UCD). Upon graduating, both Farrell and McNamara were offered the opportunity of teaching. In fact, they have always considered this part of the profession as a “parallel reality […] and a way to distill [their] experience and gift it to other generations coming along”. They have been lecturers at many worldwide institutions including École Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne and Academia di Architettura di Mendrisio.
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