Yvonne Farrell

Yvonne Farrell (born 1951, Tullamore) is an Irish architect. She is co-founder of Grafton Architects who won the World Building of the Year award in 2008 for their Bocconi University building in Milan.[1] The practice won the inaugural RIBA International Prize in 2016 for their Universidad de Ingeniería y Tecnología building in Lima, Peru[2] and was awarded the 2020 Royal Gold Medal.[3] In 2017 she was appointed, along with Shelley McNamara, as curator of the 16th Venice Biennale of Architecture in 2018.[4]


Farrell studied architecture at University College Dublin, graduating in 1974. In 1977, together with Shelley McNamara, she established Grafton Architects in Dublin. She is a founder member of Group 91, which was behind the regeneration of the Temple Bar district of Dublin in the 1990s.[5]

Grafton Architects represented Ireland at the Venice Biennale in 2002 and exhibited there again in 2008. Their Bocconi University project in Milan, which won the World Building of the Year Award in 2008, has been widely acclaimed and exhibited.[6] In 2009, the Department of Finance building in Dublin’s city centre won the Civic Trust Award as well as the Architectural Association of Ireland Special Award.[5]

Farrell has taught at University College Dublin since 1976 and has been visiting professor at the Architecture Academy in Mendrisio, Switzerland, since 2008. She held the Kenzo Tange chair at the Harvard Graduate School of Design in 2010 and currently teaches at the EPFL in Lausanne. She has lectured widely in European and American schools of architecture, including Oslo, Stockholm, Berlage, Yale, Buffalo, St.Louis, Kansas City and Tampa.[5]

Yvonne Farrell is a fellow of the Royal Institute of the Architects of Ireland, an Honorary Fellow of the Royal Institute of British Architects and elected member of Aosdána, the Irish arts organization.[7] Furthermore, she is Adjunct Professor at University College Dublin.[8] In November 2019, Yvonne and her partner at Grafton Architects, Shelley McNamara, were awarded an honorary degree by NUI Galway.


  1. "Yvonne Farrell", Aosdana. Retrieved 8 March 2012.
  2. Block, India (2019-10-02). "Grafton Architects wins 2020 RIBA Royal Gold Medal". de zeen. Retrieved 2019-10-06.
  3. "Yvonne Farrell" Archived December 28, 2011, at the Wayback Machine, World Architecture Festival. Retrieved 8 March 2012.
  4. "Universita Luigi Bocconi by Grafton Architects", de zeen, 27 October 2008. Retrieved 8 March 2012.
  5. "Yvonne Farrell" Archived October 11, 2011, at the Wayback Machine, Irish Architecture Foundation. Retrieved 8 March 2012.
  6. http://www.ucd.ie/newsandopinion/news/2017/jan/19/venicearchitecturebiennaletobecuratedbyucdadjunctprofessors/
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