UCD architecture at La Biennale di Venezia 2018

Posted May 24, 2018

The founders of Grafton Architects, UCD graduates Yvonne Farrell and Shelley McNamara are the first ever Irish architects to be selected as curators of La Biennale di Venezia. The Biennale Architettura is considered the world’s greatest exhibition of architecture with over 250,000 visitors expected to attend this year.

The RIBA prize-winning architectural-duo, who are adjunct professors in UCD School of Architecture, Planning and Environmental Policy, have set the theme "Freespace" for the 16th International Architecture Exhibition.

Their theme explores and expresses the "generosity of spirit" and "sense of humanity" at the core of architecture.

The six-month long exhibition in the Giardini and Arsenale venues, and other locations in Venice, Italy, will stage national pavilions from more than 65 countries.

The national pavilions are created, designed and constructed by teams of architects from each country responding to the overall exhibition theme.


© Andrea Avezzu. Yvonne Farrell and Shelley McNamara, Directors of the 2018 Venice Architecture Biennale – "Freespace". Image Courtesy of La Biennale di Venezia

The Irish Pavilion – Free Market – was co-curated by a team of six young architects and designers including Orla Murphy and Laurence Lord who lecture at the UCD School of Architecture, Planning and Environmental Policy.

Free Market explores the unique identity of the Irish market town while reflecting regional variation and historic development.

After the Biennale Architettura 2018, the Irish Pavilion will return to Ireland and tour small towns across the country, gathering more stories and participants as it continues to evolve.

Professor Hugh Campbell, Dean of Architecture at University College Dublin has co-curated a special section of the main exhibition, entitled “Close Encounter” which presents works that originate in a reflection on well know buildings of the past.

Emmet Scanlon and Alice Clancy from the UCD School of Architecture, Planning and Environmental Policy, are part of the team working for Yvonne Farrell and Shelley McNamara to deliver La Biennale di Venezia 2018.

By: Staff Writers, UCD University Relations