Today, the organizers of the Venice Biennale named Irish architects Yvonne Farrell and Shelley McNamara, co-founders of Grafton Architects, as curators of the International Architecture Exhibition in 2018.
The announcement comes on the heels of yet another victory for the small, Dublin-based firm. In late November, Grafton Architects received RIBA’s first-ever International Prize for its monumental, Brutalist-inspired “vertical campus” for the Universidad de Ingenieria y Tecnologia (UTEC) in Lima, Peru.
Recent accolades aside, Farrell and McNamara have been practicing for nearly four decades. Since establishing their firm in 1978, the pair has designed numerous institutional projects in their native Ireland as well as abroad in countries including Italy and France.
The architects are no stranger to the Biennale, either. In 2012, the firm won the prestigious Silver Lion award for their exhibition “Common Ground,” a collaboration with Paulo Mendes de Rocha. At last year’s exhibition, they created a video installation documenting the life—inside and out—of their UTEC building.
“The curators, who are well-known for the refinement of their work, are also known for their intense didactic activity and their ability to involve and fascinate new generations,” said Biennale president Paolo Baratta.
Chilean architect Alejandro Aravena curated the 2016 Biennale, with the theme “Reporting from the Front,” which sought to address urgent global issues. Past curators have included Rem Koolhaas, David Chipperfield, and Kazuyo Sejima.
According to Baratta, Farrell and McNamara are expected to expand upon the ideas explored in Aravena’s exhibition, but from the perspective of space—public and private—as well as landscape.
Coverage of the 2018 Venice Architecture Biennale sponsored by Hunter Douglas Architectural.