The Pritzker Architecture Prize has released a special video to honor 2020 Laureates, Yvonne Farrell and Shelley McNamara, the 47th and 48th Laureates of the award, and the first two Irish citizens to receive the distinction. For the first time in the 42-year history of the award, an in-person ceremony could not be held, therefore organizers created a film, discussing the meaning of the Prize and revealing the Laureates’ intimate reflections on architecture.
Yvonne Farrell: The Latest Architecture and News
Grafton Architects Wins Competition to Design the Anthony Timberlands Center at the University of Arkansas
Grafton Architects was selected as the winning firm to design the Anthony Timberlands Center for Design and Materials Innovation at the University of Arkansas. In collaboration with Modus Studio for the planned campus design research center, the design on the project is scheduled to begin this summer.
Grafton Architects Discuss the Relationship Between Natural Resources and the Craft of Their Projects
Architects around the world are constantly striving to explore new ways of using materials that are both more environmentally friendly, and can create impactful designs that demonstrate new abilities of creativity. For 2020 Pritzker Prize winners Yvonne Farrell and Shelley McNamara of Grafton Architects, these ideas are at the forefront of every project they design, but became especially meaningful when they visited their completed “carved mountain” project, University Campus UTEC, in Lima, Peru for the first time.
Yesterday Yvonne Farrell and Shelley McNamara, co-founders of Grafton Architects, received the 2020 Pritzker Prize. The first women to be jointly recognized for the award also received the Royal Gold Medal 2020 from RIBA earlier this year.
Pritzker Prize 2020 Laureates, Irish architects Yvonne Farrell and Shelley McNamara are known for their powerful yet delicate approaches. In this exclusive video for ArchDaily, Martha Thorne, executive director of the Pritzker Architecture Prize and Dean of IE School of Architecture and Design, shares some of the reasons why Grafton Architects has won the Pritzker Prize 2020.
“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.
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.
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.
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.
The Pritzker Prize is the most important award in the field of architecture, awarded to a living architect whose built work "has produced consistent and significant contributions to humanity through the art of architecture." The Prize rewards individuals, not entire offices, as took place in 2000 (when the jury selected Rem Koolhaas instead of his firm OMA) or in 2016 (with Alejandro Aravena selected instead of Elemental); however, the prize can also be awarded to multiple individuals working together, as took place in 2001 (Herzog & de Meuron), 2010 (Kazuyo Sejima and Ryue Nishizawa of SANAA), and 2017 (Rafael Aranda, Carme Pigem, and Ramon Vilalta of RCR Arquitectes).
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Grafton Architects' co-founders Yvonne Farrell and Shelley McNamara have been jointly awarded the fourth annual Jane Drew Prize for their “massive influence” on the profession. The “hardworking” Dublin-based duo impressed the jury, which included Norman Foster and Patty Hopkins, for not being “afraid to speak in a language that is feminine” yet “produce buildings which are robust and full of conviction.”
“Grafton’s buildings are consistently high quality. Their approach is solid,” added the jury. “They are business-savvy.”
Inspired by Pritzker Prize laureate Paulo Mendes da Rocha’s call “to get architecture out of the making and thinking of isolated objects and to show it as an inexorable transformation of nature”, Dublin practice Grafton Architects presents Architecture as New Geography at the 2012 Venice Biennale. The exhibition explores the work of the Brazilian architect in the context of Grafton’s first South American project for a university in Lima, Peru.
The International Jury has awarded Grafton the Silver Lion for their “impressive” presentation’s ability to connect to the ideas of Paulo Mendes da Rocha and demonstrate the “considerable potential of this architectural practice in reimagining the urban landscape”. While the Golden Lion for ‘Best National Participation’ went to Japan for an engaging exhibition, curated by Toyo Ito, that develops solutions for a Community building on a post Tsunami site,