Grafton Architects wins Silver Lion for International Exhibition

Dublin-based architecture practice Grafton Architects has won the Silver Lion at the Venice Biennale. For their impressive presentation of a new University campus in Lima, connecting to the ideas of Paulo Mendes da Rocha, the jury believed that the conceptual and spatial qualities of this installation demonstrate the considerable potential of this architectural practice in reimagining the urban landscape. The display includes comparative images of Skellig Michael and Machu Picchu and representations of Mendes da Rocha’s football stadium, Serra Dourada as reference for their idea for the university as an ‘arena of learning’.

Five Irish firms were exhibiting. Two firms – Grafton Architects and O’Donnell + Tuomey – were chosen by the Director of the Biennale to feature in the exhibition’s notable international curator’s programme. Clancy Moore Architects was included in a show presenting work by 56 architects under the age of 40, selected from around the globe. Finally, Dublin practice Boyd Cody Architects are among the Greek and international practices invited to contribute to the Greek Pavilion.

The Awards were presented by David Chipperfield, Director of the 13th Biennale, and Paolo Baratta, President of the Biennale. The Golden Lion for Lifetime Achievement was awarded to Portuguese architect Alvaro Siza. For the National pavilions, the Golden Lion was awarded to the Japan Pavilion, curated by Toyo Ito. The 13th International Architecture Exhibition, directed by David Chipperfield and titled Common Ground, will be open from 29th August to 25th November 2012.

Photography copyright and courtesy of Alice Clancy.