The Royal Institute of British Architects’ (RIBA) Council today approved ten new International Fellowships of the RIBA. International Fellowships reward the particular contributions non-UK architects have made to architecture. The lifetime honour, conferred annually, allows individual recipients to use the initials Int FRIBA after their name. The RIBA International Fellowships will be presented at a ceremony at the RIBA in London in February 2010. Amongst the international list, Yvonne Farrell and Shelley McNamara of Grafton Architects were named as recipients.
Established in 1978, Grafton Architects are recognized nationally and internationally for the production of buildings and urban interventions of a consistently high standard, having won over 20 awards and several competitions. The work of the practice has been exhibited in Paris, Zurich, Madrid, Barcelona (under the auspices of the European Union Mies van der Rohe Prize for Contemporary Architecture), London and at the 2002 Venice Architecture Biennale and has featured in many international publications.
Grafton Architects have developed a rigorous and sensitive approach to building in the city, believing strongly that careful research is crucial in order that latent urban potential is nurtured in a manner that sustains and builds upon the essential character of places in the city. This expertise has been developed through significant projects in a wide range of complex urban and social situations. Grafton Architects, as founding members of Group 91, played a central role in the regeneration of Dublin’s Temple Bar through participation in the formulation of the Framework Plan and the design and construction of the Temple Bar Square Building and Public Space. In recent years, the practice has undertaken several projects and competitions at a scale demanding the development of frameworks for urban intervention, such as the Bocconi University Project in the heart of Milan, Italy; in Ireland a feasibility study for a large-scale landscape, infrastructure and campus proposal for an extensive Scribblestown site; social housing projects in North King Street, South Earl Street and in Ballymun; the Meath Arts Centre in Navan; New Government Offices on St Stephen’s Green; the design of an extensive community facility on a 10-acre site in Trim, Co Meath and several significant bridge and transport infrastructure projects in collaboration with Roughan O’Donovan, one of which will notably improve the currently quotidian experience of visitors to Dublin’s airport; in Norway the Bjorvika Office and Housing Competition in Oslo; in France the Magasins Généraux Competition in Paris.
Grafton Architects’ Universita Luigi Bocconi building in Milan, Italy, was named as the first World Building of the Year at the World Architecture Festival in Barcelona. It was also the first building by an Irish practice to become one of the five finalists in the European Prize for Contemporary Architecture Mies van der Rohe Award in 2009. This is really a piece of city, fronting on to a busy street and providing a window on the students’ activities in the market place within.
Others named as recipients included Elizabeth Diller and Ricardo Scofidio; and Benedetta Tagliabue.