Architecture’s top prize awarded to two women
New York: Dublin-based Yvonne Farrell and Shelley McNamara were awarded the Pritzker prize on Tuesday — the first time a female duo has scooped architecture’s most prestigious award.
They gained international fame for their blocky, brutalist-inspired structures, which prioritize human interaction by pairing heavy materials like stark concrete with lookout points, meeting places, and spots to loiter.
The pair met at university in 1974, and went on to found their firm Grafton Architects in 1978 in Dublin, where they have practiced together for four decades.
They are the first female duo to win a Pritzker, and the first architects from Ireland given the major award.
Just three women have won Pritzkers before them: Zaha Hadid in 2004, Kazuyo Sejima in 2010 (with Ryue Nishizawa) and Carme Pigem in 2017 (with Ramon Vilalta and Rafael Aranda).
McNamara and Farrell are also the first Irish citizens to pick up the prize.
In announcing their selection the jury cited Farrell and McNamara’s “integrity” and “generosity towards their colleagues” — both continue to teach, rare for architects of their repute.
The judges also praised 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.” – AFP