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European Parliament Liaison Office Honours Grafton Architects
Grafton Architects, the recipients of the 2022 EU Mies Award, were honoured in Dublin on 13 July by the European Parliament Liaison Office in Ireland (EP in Ireland) with a special event at the Goethe Institut.
Yvonne Farrell and Shelley McNamara discussed their award-winning building, Town House at Kingston University in London, while setting it in the wider context of the New European Bauhaus values, followed by a discussion chaired by Prof. Hugh Campbell.
Also speaking at the event were: James Temple-Smithson, Head of the EP in Ireland, Barbara Nolan, Head of the European Commission Representation in Ireland and Anna Sala Giralt, Curator of the EU Mies Awards at the Mies van der Rohe Foundation. MEP Ciaran Cuffe sent a congratulations video message and representing the RIAI was First Vice President Sean Mahon.
Organised by the European Union and the Fundació Mies van der Rohe, the prize is awarded biennially to the best architecture project completed in Europe in the past two years. The original list of nominees featured 532 projects from 41 countries.
This is the first time that a firm of Irish architects has won the Award and the first time a university building has won the coveted architecture prize. Town House contains the university's main library and archive, alongside dance studios, a theatre, adaptable learning spaces, and two cafes. According to the Mies Award judges, Kingston University is rewarded for its remarkable environmental quality that creates an excellent atmosphere for studying, dancing, gathering and being together. “The building creates an emotional experience from within and through the multi-level façade colonnade that creates a domestic atmosphere on different levels. It accommodates dance, library and study spaces using layers of silence and layers of sound which work perfectly well together. This is the first time that a university building wins the architecture prize and it shows that there is a need for public educational projects with the quality of this one, which dignifies people’s lives through education and being together and gives the same educational possibilities to everybody.”
The RIAI and Department of Housing, Heritage and Local Government were invited to show their film Places for People, which marks the publication of Ireland’s new National Policy on Architecture and features extensive interviews with Yvonne Farrell and Shelley McNamara on topics such as the New European Bauhaus and designing for sustainable cities for the enjoyment of all.
See also: https://www.riai.ie/whats-on/news/grafton-architects-win-european-union-prize-for-contemporary-architecture-mies-van-der-rohe-award-2022 and https://www.graftonarchitects.ie/Town-House-Kingston-University-London