Grafton Architects frequently applies this design strategy to its public projects because it plays a role in increasing user users interaction. Their Toulouse University School of Economics project reinterpreted not only the framed, axial, and linear spaces formed by the meandering Garonne River that runs through the city, and but also the universities at the heart of Toulouse’s historical and intellectual life. What’s more, they used façade struts throughout the every unit of the structure, which provides both natural light and ventilation. Each strut has been designed in accordance how much daylight and wind each unit receives, and provides a certain degree of height in order to protect each space within. This method has also been applied to more specialized, large spaces such as seminar rooms and terraces, and allowed them the ability to design long façades using small window layout, and thereby allowing one control over lighting and shading. Dublin City Institute, also designed by Grafton, is part of a collection of 19th-century buildings scattered around a rectangular green space and that serve the university. The building defines a new, independent entrance for the Richview Campus and creates the necessary link with the Richview Library (which is made of red brick). Shades and low walls were positioned in such a way as to orient an extension of the landscape. The terracotta used on the façade refers to the brick of surrounding historical buildings.
AND THE 2019 PRITZKER ARCHITECTURE PRIZE GOES TO… YVONNE FARRELL AND SHELLEY MCNAMARA
Yvonne Farrell and Shelley McNamara-founders of Dublin-based Grafton Architects-went down in history as the first women female architects to jointly win the most prestigious award in architecture, the Pritzker Prize. Farrell and McNamara graduated from the School of Architecture at University College Dublin in 1974. In 1978, they launched Grafton Architects-from where they have built up over 4 decades of experience. They have also lectured at prestigious institutions of higher learning, including their own University College Dublin, École Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne, and the Mendrisio Accademia di Archittettura. The dynamic duo’s work has appeared four times at the Venice Architecture Biennale. At the 2012 Biennale, their “Architecture as New Geography” exhibition—modelled off of Brazilian architect Mendes da Rocha’s own works, and which inspired the UTEC Campus projects-drew world-wide attention. In 2018, they co-curated la Biennale di Venezia, with the theme FREESPACE. Each of Grafton’s designs takes [the project’s] geography, climate, daylight, and nature into careful consideration from the onset, and in light of that, aims to create context specific architectural solutions. In particular, the team has designed many an educational facility over the years. In their public projects, they use ambiguous borders and materials that evoke uniformity in order create a dialogue between a space’s interior and exterior. By adopting an interaction-oriented design strategy, Grafton Architects presents those who use their spaces/ designs with intricate spatial compositions. Among their more recent projects is “Town House,” at Kingston University in London. With its permeable and inviting façades, Town House was designed as a stage for public life. While a colonnade on the ground floor invites public life into the building, the three-level terraced façade on the other hand creates the feeling that the floor is connected to the roof. Within the building, the spaces intertwine with overlap one another, and define an intricate composition.