Grafton Architects founders Yvonne Farrell and Shelley McNamara have been awarded the Pritzker Architecture Prize in a video ceremony created as a physical event was unable to take place due to the coronavirus pandemic.
Replacing the regular in-person ceremony, the video features a virtual ceremony along with Farrell and McNamara talking about their approach to architecture and messages from past laureates.
According to the Pritzker Architecture Prize organisers, the video is “a documentary-style archival piece”.
It includes citations about Farrell and McNamara’s architecture by the president of Ireland Michael D Higgins; the prize’s jury chair, US Supreme Court justice Stephen Breyer; Pritzker Architecture Prize executive director Martha Thorne; and Tom Pritzker, chairman of the Hyatt Foundation, which sponsors the award.
An extended version of the video is available to watch on the Pritzker Architecture Prize’s website.
Farrell and McNamara were revealed as this year’s winners in March and are the first two Irish citizens to win the prestigious award and the fourth and fifth women.
“This is a time for new and agile thinking, not only about every space that we touch, but also for new thinking about our relationship with each other,” said Pritzker.
“It’s fitting, therefore, that this year’s laureates, Yvonne Farrell and Shelley McNamara, have first and foremost demonstrated that friendship, socialization and partnership are the wellspring for the humane ideals to which their built work is dedicated.”
The pair co-founded Grafton Architects, which was named the 2020 RIBA Royal Gold Medal for Architecture winner at the end of last year, in Dublin in 1978. Significant projects by the studio include the Universita Luigi Bocconi in Milan, which was named World Building of the Year in 2008 and the University Campus UTEC Lima building in Peru that was won the RIBA International Prize.
Along with the citations the video includes messages of congratulations from former Pritzker Architecture Prize laureates including Norman Foster, Shigeru Ban, Kazuyo Sejima, and Eduardo Souto de Moura.
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