Royal Gold Medal for Architecture Awarded to Grafton

Yvonne Farrell and Shelley McNamara

THE 2020 ROYAL GOLD Medal for Architecture has been awarded to Dublin-based practice Grafton Architects.

The practice, co-founded in Dublin by Yvonne Farrell and Shelley McNamara, recently opened its first UK project, the new library building for Kingston University.

Presented in recognition of a lifetime’s work, the Royal Gold Medal is approved personally by Her Majesty The Queen and is given to a person or group of people who have had a significant influence ‘either directly or indirectly on the advancement of architecture’.


Previous projects have included the inaugural RIBA International Prize winning vertical campus building at Lima’s specialist engineering university (UTEC) in Peru, the Department of Finance building on Merrion Row Dublin, Limerick University’s Medical School, and work at Dublin Library.

Left: Department of FInance, Dublin; Right: Medical School and Student Accommodation, Limerick University

RIBA President, Professor Alan M Jones, said:  “From designing houses in wind-swept rural landscapes to substantial inner-city university projects, from curating and contributing to world class exhibitions to teaching within some of the world’s leading schools of architecture, the scale and scope of Grafton Architects’ influence is extraordinary.

“Their extensive talent and generosity of spirit are an inspiration, not only to me and my fellow architects but to all those who have had the pleasure of engaging directly with them and their work.

“The breadth and quality of supporters for their Royal Gold Medal nomination was a roll call of significant names from the worlds of academia, arts and architecture, major clients and renowned architects.

“Grafton Architects are impressive role models. Their work, philosophy and ambition are of profound importance, not just in their home country and the UK but across the globe. They show us all how architecture, practiced humbly and humanely, can make the world a better place.”




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