For International Women’s Day 2020, we thought we would, once again, highlight groundbreaking, powerful architects; Yvonne Farrell and Shelley McNamara – the first two women to receive the highly prestigious Pritzker Prize.
Farrell and McNamara co-founded Grafton Architects in 1978. They are both graduates from the University College Dublin, Fellows of the RIAI, and International Honorary Fellows of the RIBA. The human experience of what it’s like to move through, walk by, and inhabit their buildings is of paramount importance to them. They believe that people don’t solely need a building to keep the rain out, but rather they need something to find expression for.
The Pritzker Architecture Prize is the profession’s highest honor and is awarded annually to living architect/s whose built work demonstrates a combination of the qualities of talent, vision, and commitment, which has produced consistent and significant contributions to humanity and the built environment through the art of architecture. According to the 2020 Jury Citation, Yvonne Farrell and Shelley McNamara were awarded the Pritzker Architecture Prize, “For their integrity in the approach to both their buildings, as well as the way they conduct their practice, their belief is 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, and for all these reasons and more.”