Grafton Architects

Grafton Architects detail plans for Venice Biennale at Dublin Castle

28 February 2018
3 min read

Grafton Architects will unveil their plans for 2018’s Venice Biennale at a special Dublin Castle event.

The spotlight shines brightly over Ireland’s architecture visionaries in 2018 with world-renowned Grafton Architects at Venice Biennale’s curatorial helm.

Marking the first time ever that Irish architects have taken on the curator mantle, considered the highest accolade in architecture, Yvonne Farrell and Shelley McNamara of Grafton Architects have titled the 16th International Architecture Exhibition - Freespace.

Fresh from receiving the RIAI Gold Medal, Ireland’s top architecture distinction, for their exceptional design of Università Bocconi in Milan, Italy; in another first for the prestigious Biennale, a special press event will be held in Grafton Architects’ home city on 5 March.

Grafton Architects, Venice Biennale

With Farrell and McNamara describing Freespace as “a generosity of spirit and a sense of humanity at the core of architecture's agenda, focusing on the quality of space itself” and as the “freedom to imagine, the free space of time and memory, binding past, present and future together, building on inherited cultural layers, weaving the archaic with the contemporary”, the pair will – for the first time since last year’s announcement of their chosen theme – give an insight into their plans for Venice and the exhibitions they’ll have special involvement with at the Arsenale and Central Pavilion.

Taking place in Dublin Castle on Monday 5 March, following a Venice and preceding a London event, this unprecedented showcase will be live streamed on the Creative Ireland Facebook page from 11am. Hosted by Minister Madigan, McNamara and Farrell will discuss their Freespace theme, how they have shaped the exhibition, and reveal the participants of the 16th International Architecture Exhibition. The team behind Ireland's National Pavilion will also reveal some of their plans while the President of La Biennale, Paolo Baratta, will present his ambitions for the 2018 Biennale.

Founded in 1978, the firm have been the creative force behind dozens of spectacular buildings in Ireland and abroad, including the Universidad de Ingeniería Tecnología in Lima, Peru, which scooped the Royal Institute of British Architects best building prize in 2016.

With the theme of Freespace set to reflect architecture’s unbridled potential to enhance people’s daily lives, the 16th International Architecture Exhibition at the Venice Biennale will be open to the public from 26 May until 25 November 2018.