1. ArchDaily
  2. Grafton Architects

Grafton Architects: The Latest Architecture and News

Who are Grafton Architects? 20 Things to Know About the 2020 Pritzker Laureates

With more than 40 years of professional experience, Yvonne Farrell and Shelley McNamara, partners and co-founders of Dublin-based Grafton Architects, are the first women to be jointly awarded the architecture’s highest honor, the Pritzker Prize. In addition to a very welcoming breath of hope towards greater female representation in the field, the selection also cast light over an equally urgent theme in the profession: recognizing architecture practice as a collective effort.

Grafton Architects: Get to Know 2020 Pritzker Winners’ Built Work

Grafton Architects: Get to Know 2020 Pritzker Winners’ Built Work - Image 1 of 4Grafton Architects: Get to Know 2020 Pritzker Winners’ Built Work - Image 2 of 4Grafton Architects: Get to Know 2020 Pritzker Winners’ Built Work - Image 3 of 4Grafton Architects: Get to Know 2020 Pritzker Winners’ Built Work - Image 4 of 4Grafton Architects: Get to Know 2020 Pritzker Winners’ Built Work - More Images+ 11

Yvonne Farrell and Shelley McNamara founded Grafton Architects in 1978, after they met each other at the School of Architecture at University College Dublin. The practice, named after the street where the duo's first office was located, has been awarded this year’s prestigious 2020 Pritzker Award. Grafton's built work reflects the continued search of architectural excellence, in buildings ranging from small scale housing to large public volumes.

Yvonne Farrell and Shelley McNamara Named 2020 Pritzker Prize Laureates

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.

Yvonne Farrell and Shelley McNamara Named 2020 Pritzker Prize Laureates - Image 1 of 4Yvonne Farrell and Shelley McNamara Named 2020 Pritzker Prize Laureates - Image 2 of 4Yvonne Farrell and Shelley McNamara Named 2020 Pritzker Prize Laureates - Image 3 of 4Yvonne Farrell and Shelley McNamara Named 2020 Pritzker Prize Laureates - Image 4 of 4Yvonne Farrell and Shelley McNamara Named 2020 Pritzker Prize Laureates - More Images

Grafton Architects Wins 2020 RIBA Royal Gold Medal

Dublin-based Grafton Architects have been announced as the winners of the RIBA 2020 Royal Gold Medal, the UK’s highest honor for architecture. Recognizing the practice’s significant global contribution to architecture, the award is approved personally by Her Majesty The Queen. RIBA acknowledged that the people-centered practice has achieved global recognition and is known especially for its exemplary education buildings.

Grafton Architects Wins 2020 RIBA Royal Gold Medal - Image 1 of 4Grafton Architects Wins 2020 RIBA Royal Gold Medal - Image 2 of 4Grafton Architects Wins 2020 RIBA Royal Gold Medal - Image 3 of 4Grafton Architects Wins 2020 RIBA Royal Gold Medal - Image 4 of 4Grafton Architects Wins 2020 RIBA Royal Gold Medal - More Images+ 5

RIBA International Awards 2020 Open For Entries

The Royal Institute of British Architects has announced the launch of the RIBA International Awards 2020 to recognize architecture outside of the United Kingdom. Now open for entries, the awards are open to any qualified architect in the world for a building outside of the UK, of any size and budget. The biennial awards celebrate buildings that exemplify design innovation, embrace sustainable technologies and deliver meaningful social impact.

An Architectural Guide to Dublin: 30 Things to See and Do in Ireland’s Capital

Dublin is one of the world’s most beloved cities. The Irish capital welcomes over 5.6 million tourists every year from around the world, seeking out the city’s red brick rows, cobblestone streets, and lush green parklands.

Dublin has good reason for being on any architect’s travel list. Modest Georgian tenements, sensitively altered by local architects, stand alongside major civil and public works by some of the world’s most renowned international firms, while warm art nouveau and art deco cafes sit alongside the sleek, modern headquarters of the world’s largest tech firms.

How (Not) to Design a Biennale: Is Freespace Free?

This article was originally published by Metropolis Magazine under the title "Taking a Second Look at This Year's Nebulous Venice Architecture Biennale."

One of the few incontrovertible truths to emerge from the 16th International Architecture Exhibition, which opened in Venice on May 26 and runs through November 25, is that sensitivity and skill in making architecture do not necessarily transfer to the work of organizing an architecture exhibition.

Curators Yvonne Farrell and Shelley McNamara Provide Insight Into the Theme of the 2018 Venice Biennale

As La Biennale prepares to open to the public this Saturday May 26, PLANE—SITE spoke to curators Yvonne Farrell and Shelley McNamara about this edition’s theme, Freespace. They move beyond architecture as an object, instead imagining Freespace as an invitation to think about architecture as a space of opportunities. Literally and metaphorically, Freespace presents environments of generosity, accessibility and freedom and celebrates the rich civic experiences that they create.

Jury Members for the 2018 Venice Biennale Announced

Jury Members for the 2018 Venice Biennale Announced - Featured Image
© Andrea Avezzù

The Board of Directors of La Biennale di Venezia, upon recommendation from 2018 curators Yvonne Farrell and Shelley McNamara of Grafton Architects, have announced the jury for the forthcoming Venice Biennale.

The jury will be responsible for awarding the Golden Lion for Best National Participation, the Golden Lion for Best Participant in the International Exhibition FREESPACE, and the Silver Lion for a Promising Young Participant in the International Exhibition FREESPACE. They will also have the opportunity to award one special mention to National Participations and two special mentions to the participants in the International Exhibition.

2018 Venice Biennale Reveals Further Details About This Year's Theme, "Freespace"

At a press conference earlier today, curators of the 2018 Venice Biennale Yvonne Farrell and Shelley McNamara of Grafton Architects revealed more information about this year's upcoming event, to be hosted from May 26th to November 25th. Building on the thematic concept the duo presented last June—“Freespace”—the event will feature a main exhibition in the Central Pavilion of the Giardini and the Arsenale featuring work by 71 participants, while two Special Sections will feature a total of 29 further participants. Elsewhere, 65 national pavilions will present contributions from around the world, including 7 first-time participants: Antigua & Barbuda, Saudi Arabia, Guatemala, Lebanon, Mongolia, Pakistan and the Holy See.

Freespace: Grafton's 2018 Venice Biennale to Celebrate Generosity, Thoughtfulness, and a Desire to Engage

At a meeting convened today at the Biennale's headquarters at Ca’ Giustinian in Venice, Italy, Grafton ArchitectsYvonne Farrell and Shelley McNamara—revealed the theme and outline for the 2018 Venice Architecture Biennale, which they have titled Freespace. According to the Directors, the forthcoming Biennale will celebrate "generosity and thoughtfulness," and "a desire to engage."

We believe that everyone has the right to benefit from architecture. The role of architecture is to give shelter to our bodies, but also to lift our spirits. A beautiful wall forming a street edge gives pleasure to the passer-by, even if they never go inside.

Freespace will "reveal diversity, specificity, and continuity in architecture. Together," they proposed, "we can reveal the capacity of architecture to connect with history, time, place, and people. These qualities sustain the fundamental capacity of architecture to nurture and support a meaningful impact between people and place." In their closing statement, Farrell and McNamara chose to quote an Ancient Greek proverb: a society grows great when old men plant trees whose shade they know they will never sit in.

Yvonne Farrell and Shelley McNamara Awarded 2017 Thomas Jefferson Medals in Architecture

Yvonne Farrell and Shelly McNamara, directors of Grafton Architects, have been recognized along with three other individuals as winners of the 2017 Thomas Jefferson Foundation Medals. The award, presented by the University of Virginia and the Thomas Jefferson Foundation, recognizes “the exemplary contributions of recipients to the endeavors in which Jefferson excelled and held in high regard”, including Law, Citizen Leadership, Global Innovation, and Architecture.

“As founding partners of Grafton Architects, Yvonne Farrell and Shelley McNamara have built an international award-winning practice that has made substantial contributions to culture and education and have embodied their values in profound works of architecture,” said Ila Berman, dean of the University of Virginia School of Architecture.

Yvonne Farrell and Shelley McNamara Awarded 2017 Thomas Jefferson Medals in Architecture  - Image 2 of 4Yvonne Farrell and Shelley McNamara Awarded 2017 Thomas Jefferson Medals in Architecture  - Image 3 of 4Yvonne Farrell and Shelley McNamara Awarded 2017 Thomas Jefferson Medals in Architecture  - Image 1 of 4Yvonne Farrell and Shelley McNamara Awarded 2017 Thomas Jefferson Medals in Architecture  - Image 4 of 4Yvonne Farrell and Shelley McNamara Awarded 2017 Thomas Jefferson Medals in Architecture  - More Images

Introducing GSAPP Conversations' Inaugural Episode: "Exhibition Models"

We are pleased to announce a new content partnership between ArchDaily and Columbia University's Graduate School of Architecture, Planning and Preservation (GSAPP) in New York City.

GSAPP Conversations is a podcast series designed to offer a window onto the expanding field of contemporary architectural practice. Each episode pivots around discussions on current projects, research, and obsessions of a diverse group of invited guests at Columbia, from both emerging and well-established practices. Usually hosted by the Dean of the GSAPP, Amale Andraos, the conversations also feature the school’s influential faculty and alumni and give students the opportunity to engage architects on issues of concern to the next generation.

Introducing GSAPP Conversations' Inaugural Episode: "Exhibition Models" - Image 1 of 4

Get to Know the Projects of Grafton Architects, Directors of the 2018 Venice Biennale

Yesterday, the Board of La Biennale di Venezia appointed Yvonne Farrell and Shelley McNamara of Grafton Architects as curators of the 2018 Venice Architecture Biennale.

Farrell and McNamara established Grafton Architects in 1978. They have held the Kenzo Tange Chair at Harvard GSD and the Louis Kahn Chair at Yale University. The pair has also been invited as visiting teachers at EPFL in Lausanne and the Accademia d'Archittettura, in Mendrisio, where they were appointed as teachers in 2013, in addition to visiting several other universities worldwide for lectures and crits.

Get to Know the Projects of Grafton Architects, Directors of the 2018 Venice Biennale - Image 1 of 4Get to Know the Projects of Grafton Architects, Directors of the 2018 Venice Biennale - Image 2 of 4Get to Know the Projects of Grafton Architects, Directors of the 2018 Venice Biennale - Image 3 of 4Get to Know the Projects of Grafton Architects, Directors of the 2018 Venice Biennale - Image 4 of 4Get to Know the Projects of Grafton Architects, Directors of the 2018 Venice Biennale - More Images+ 6

Yvonne Farrell and Shelley McNamara Named Artistic Directors of 2018 Venice Architecture Biennale

In a meeting yesterday, The Board of La Biennale di Venezia appointed Yvonne Farrell and Shelley McNamara of Grafton Architects as curators of the 16th International Architecture Exhibition in 2018. This marks the second time that the Venice Architecture Biennale will be directed by women, after Kazuyo Sejima's role as director for the 2010 Biennale.

Yvonne Farrell and Shelley McNamara Named Artistic Directors of 2018 Venice Architecture Biennale - Image 1 of 4Yvonne Farrell and Shelley McNamara Named Artistic Directors of 2018 Venice Architecture Biennale - Image 2 of 4Yvonne Farrell and Shelley McNamara Named Artistic Directors of 2018 Venice Architecture Biennale - Image 3 of 4Yvonne Farrell and Shelley McNamara Named Artistic Directors of 2018 Venice Architecture Biennale - Image 4 of 4Yvonne Farrell and Shelley McNamara Named Artistic Directors of 2018 Venice Architecture Biennale - More Images+ 2

Monocle 24 Explores Architectural White Elephants

Cities across the world are full of white elephants – something which ArchDaily has recently explored. In the latest episode of Section D, Monocle 24's weekly review of design, architecture and craft, the team examine similar cases from the unfinished Palestinian Parliament to redundant projects in Belgrade. This edition also looks at the RIBA's new International Prize, which was awarded this year to Grafton Architects for their University of Engineering and Technology building in Lima.

Monocle 24 Explores Architectural White Elephants - Image 3 of 4
Courtesy of Monocle 24

Grafton Architect's "Modern Day Machu Picchu" Wins Inaugural RIBA International Prize

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."

Grafton Architect's "Modern Day Machu Picchu" Wins Inaugural RIBA International Prize - Image 1 of 4Grafton Architect's "Modern Day Machu Picchu" Wins Inaugural RIBA International Prize - Image 2 of 4Grafton Architect's "Modern Day Machu Picchu" Wins Inaugural RIBA International Prize - Image 3 of 4Grafton Architect's "Modern Day Machu Picchu" Wins Inaugural RIBA International Prize - Image 4 of 4Grafton Architect's Modern Day Machu Picchu Wins Inaugural RIBA International Prize - More Images

6 Buildings Shortlisted for the Inaugural RIBA International Prize

The Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA) has announced the shortlist of six finalist projects in the running for the inaugural RIBA International Prize. The first RIBA Award open to any qualified architect in the world, the International Prize seeks to name the world’s “most significant and inspirational” building. Criteria for consideration include the demonstration of “visionary, innovative thinking and excellence of execution, whilst making a distinct contribution to its users and to its physical context.”

The six finalists were named from a longlist of 30 buildings, from which a further selection of 21 projects have been recognized by the jury for the RIBA Award for International Excellence. The jury has also named the winner of the RIBA International Emerging Architect prize recognizing “the achievement of architects in the earlier stages of their career who are working on global projects.”

The Grand Jury is lead by Richard Rogers and includes Billie Tsien, Kunlé Adeyemi, Philip Gumuchdjian, and Marilyn Jordan Taylor.

"Our panel of jurors have been particularly impressed by the way in which each building reacts to, resolves and assimilates into the varying geographies and contexts - from dense urban cities to a small town in the Arctic Circle," said RIBA President Jane Duncan on the naming of the finalists. "Each project resolves the complex demands of its context with ingenuity, exceptional detail and finishing and a sensitivity to the needs of the users and communities which will inhabit these spaces."