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A Dublin-based architecture firm and their skilled architectural illustration team has recently been awarded the Royal Gold Medal, an annual award given by the Royal Institute of British Architects, considered to be one of the highest accolades in the country.
Grafton’s founders, Yvonne Farrell and Shelley McNamara will receive the award, approved by Her Majesty, Queen Elizabeth II, during a special awarding ceremony to be held in London at 2020. It’s only the fourth time that the award has been given to the Irish in at least a century.
The Royal Gold Medal had been given to other Irish before, like Dundalk’s Peter Rice, who was one of the contributors to the design of the Sydney Opera House, as well as the Parisian Centre Pompidou.
The RIBA stated that they’re handing the award over to Grafton Architects not only due to their architectural illustration team, but to their lifelong contributions to the architectural field. They even noted the foundation of the architectural firm, which happened back in 1978.
Grafton was founded by Farrell and McNamara alongside two directors, Gerard Carty and Philippe O’Sullivan, in what they described as a ‘people-centered practice’, one which has grown and received global recognition thanks to its work portfolio.
In 2013, the University of Limerick’s Grafton Medical School was listed as one of the main contenders for the RIBA Stirling Prize. 3 years after that, they managed to snag the RIBA International Prize for their UTEC campus in Lima, Peru, noted for its bold vertical design.
On hearing the news, the Grafton team says that they see architecture as an optimistic profession, with many chances to see how the future will unfold, while translating people’s desires and needs into a built form, via the silent language of spatial measurements. They also went on record to say that they share their award with their clients, teams, contractors, as well as colleagues.
RIBA President Alan Jones said in a statement, that Grafton’s influence is extraordinary, and that they are a role model to the architectural industry; an inspiration to all architects and anyone’s who’s had the pleasure of working with them.