The Pritzker Prize is annually assigned to living architects whose projects produced relevant contributions to humanity and to the built environment.
Yvonne Farell and Shelley McNamara founded in 1978 the Grafton Studio; since then, they worked at many projects, designed to be eco- friendly and in line with the surrounding environment. Primarily, the Grafton Studio built Universities and other educational facilities such as the Department of Mechanical and Manufacturing Engineering at the Trinity College Dublin (1996), the University of Limerick (2013) and the Toulouse School of Economics (2019).
In 2009 Farrell and McNamara designed the Department of Finance in Dublin. The project is perfectly integrated with the streetscape: the thick screen walls are made of local limestone from Ballinasloe, whereas through the entire building there are big window, from which the Irish landscape can be viewed.
In 2015, the studio developed the project for the University Campus in Lima, Peru. The architects kept in mind the geography of the city- where cliffs define the boundaries between the city and the sea- as well as the presence of a busy road network in the Northern boundary; they designed the University as a “new cliff” and they seen the Northern boundary as the façade of the project. The aim was to promote interactions between what the inside and the outside of the building.
This goal is also pursued in another famous project, University Luigi Bocconi in Milan, Italy. The building is designed to be a place of exchange; the University’s hall is designed to work as a hub between the the building and the city. The Northern edge of the university looks onto the busy Viale Bligny road and serves as a “window” to Milan.
Yvonne Farrel and Shelley McNamara thoroughly design their projects, they put both people and environment at the center of their concepts: those are just few features that the Pritzker jury look for in every architect.