Famous for working as a team, the newly appointed curators of Venice Architecture Biennale 2018 Yvonne Farrell and Shelley McNamara live and work in Dublin, where they co-founded the firm Grafton Architects in 1977. The studio is famous for the Bocconi University building in Milan and the UTEC University campus in Lima, Peru, that was recently awarded as project of the year by RIBA International Award.
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On the occasion, Venice Biennale President Paolo Baratta said: “The 2016 exhibition curated by Alejandro Aravena underlined the importance of architecture as one of civil society’s instruments for organizing the space in which it lives and works. Yvonne Farrell and Shelley McNamara will continue to address the same theme but from the point of view of the quality of the public and private space, of urban space, of the territory and of the landscape”
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Grafton Architects won the Silver Lion at the Biennale Architettura in 2012, where they presented their Project for the UTEC University campus in Lima, Peru, together with the work of Paula Mendes da Rocha. In 2016 Alejandro Aravena invited the studio to showcase the project with “The Physics of Culture” exhibition – Watch the video interview at Venice Biennale 2018.
Located at the edge of a deep gorge in the city’s Barranco district, the UTEC University campus in Lima was developed in collaboration with locally based studio Shell Arquitectos. The vertical campus building is composed by series of landscaped terraces with clefts that overhangs and provide shade. Inside, a succession of platforms create open circulation and meeting spaces. Teaching rooms, laboratories and offices are enclosed, inserted into and suspended from the exposed concrete structure.
Farrell and McNamara have designed and built several schools and architectural works for institutions and universities including a new building for the Università Bocconi in Milan, and the London School of Economics.
The firm won many international competitions and has been the recipient of many international Awards. Both partners began teaching at the University College of Dublin in 1976, and are currently full Professors of architecture at the Accademia di Mendrisio and Adjunct Professors in UCD.
The 16th International Architecture Exhibition will be inaugurated on Saturday, May 26 and will conclude on Sunday, November 25, 2018.