shelley mcnamara and yvonne farrell of grafton architects awarded 2020 pritzker prize
 

shelley mcnamara and yvonne farrell of grafton architects awarded 2020 pritzker prize

shelley mcnamara and yvonne farrell of grafton architects have been announced as the 2020 laureate of the pritzker architecture prize the award often referred to as architecture’s highest honor. as architects and educators, farrell and mcnamara create spaces that are both respectful and new, highlighting history while denoting a mastery of the urban environment and craft of construction. their work perfectly balances strength and delicacy, resulting in modern and impactful structures that never repeat or imitate, but that feature their own architectural voice. farrell and mcnamara are the 47th and 48th laureates of the pritzker prize, and the first two recipients from ireland.

shelley mcnamara and yvonne farrell of grafton architects awarded 2020 pritzker prize
shelley mcnamara and yvonne farrell of grafton architects | image © alice clancy
(main image: university campus UTEC lima 2015 lima, peru, © iwan baan)

 

 

‘for their integrity in their approach to both their buildings, as well as the way they conduct their practice, their belief in collaboration, their generosity towards their colleagues, especially as evidenced in such events as the 2018 venice biennale, their unceasing commitment to excellence in architecture, their responsible attitude toward the environment, their ability to be cosmopolitan while embracing the uniqueness of each place in which they work, for all these reasons and more, yvonne farrell and shelley mcnamara are awarded the 2020 pritzker architecture prize,’ states the 2020 pritzker prize jury citation.

shelley mcnamara and yvonne farrell of grafton architects awarded 2020 pritzker prize
université toulouse 1 capitole, school of economics, 2019
image courtesy of dennis gilbert

 

 

farrell and mcnamara have mastered proportion to maintain a human scale and achieve intimate environments within tall and vast buildings. ‘they have tried, with considerable success, to help us all overcome what is likely to evermore become a serious human problem,’ explains justice stephen breyer, jury chair. ‘namely, how do we build housing and workplaces in a world with over half of its population dwelling in urban environments, and many of them who cannot afford luxury?’

shelley mcnamara and yvonne farrell of grafton architects awarded 2020 pritzker prize
bocconi university, milan, italy
image by federico brunetti

 

 

‘within the ethos of a practice such as ours, we have so often struggled to find space for the implementation of such values as humanism, craft, generosity, and cultural connection with each place and context within which we work. it is therefore extremely gratifying that this recognition is bestowed upon us and our practice and upon the body of work we have managed to produce over a long number of years,’ comments mcnamara. ‘it is also a wonderful recognition of the ambition and vision of the clients who commissioned us and enabled us to bring our buildings to fruition.’

shelley mcnamara and yvonne farrell of grafton architects awarded 2020 pritzker prize
institut mines télécom
image by alexandre soria

 

 

established by the hyatt foundation in 1979, the annual award honors architects whose built work demonstrates a combination talent, vision, and commitment. last year, arata isozaki became the prize’s 46th recipient, while 2018 saw BV doshi honored for his forward-thinking approach, deep commitment to the ‘art of space,’ and transnational methodology, which have been evidenced since the 1960s.  

shelley mcnamara and yvonne farrell of grafton architects awarded 2020 pritzker prize
town house building, kingston university
image by ed reeve

 

 

shelley mcnamara and yvonne farrell established grafton architects in 1978 in dublin, where they continue to work and reside. in just over forty years, they have completed nearly as many projects, located in ireland, the united kingdom, france, italy and peru.

shelley mcnamara and yvonne farrell of grafton architects awarded 2020 pritzker prize
university campus UTEC, lima
image by iwan baan

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