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"We wanted to have something that wasn’t dealing with architecture as object" say Farrell & McNamara

Italy - Jun 11, 2018 - 23:53   1789 views

The 2018 Venice Architecture Biennale has opened its doors o May 26, 2018 under the title of Freespace proposed by the Irish architects Yvonne Farrell and Shelley McNamara of Grafton Architects

In an exclusive video-interview by PLANE-SITE, the architects discuss their architectural vision on Freespace, explaining that a good architecture can push the boundaries, beyond as an object. They also claim that freespace should ask unexplored questions to discover more opportunities, rich civic experience in a space that are quite in the centre of our daily lives.

The architects' manifesto interrogates "generosity of spirit" and focuses on "architecture’s ability to provide free and additional spatial gifts to those who use it and on its ability to address the unspoken wishes of strangers," with their words. 

Javier Corvalán’s Vatican Chapel. Image courtesy of La Biennale di Venezia

"We wrote this freespace manifesto like a litany of values which we aspire to in the making of our work, and the admiration of other people’s work," says Shelley McNamara in this exclusive video-interview. 

"We wanted to have something that wasn’t dealing with architecture as object, we wanted to deal with space as the craft of architecture: the free becomes the component that each architect searches for within each project," adds Yvonne Farrell.

Vo Trong Nghia Architects (VTN)'s Bamboo Stalactite at the Arsenale. Image © Francesco Galli, courtesy of La Biennale di Venezia

They found Grafton Archiects in 1978, they work and live in Dublin, where they graduated from the School of Architecture of University College. The sudio is well-known for their University Buildings across the world including Universita Luigi Bocconi, School of Economics in Milan, Italy, University Campus UTEC, Lima, Peru, Université Toulouse, School of Economics in Toulouse, France 1 Capitole, Kingston University London Town House, London.

The Shift by Kerem Piker at the Pavilion of Turkey, Arsenale. Image © Francesco Galli, courtesy of La Biennale di Venezia

"We also wanted to something very practical. Architecture is not just something off in the distance, it is the cradle of our lives," continues Yvonne Farrell.

"There is freespace of thinking, and there is freespace of imagination," adds McNamara. "It's our position that those values are central to the making of architecture."

Vector Architects' Connecting Vessel at the Arsenale. Image © Andrea Avezzù, courtesy of La Biennale di Venezia

PLANE—SITE spoke to the curators Yvonne Farrell and Shelley McNamara during the Venice Architecture Biennale and watch the full video above, discussing the theme of Freespace in detail. 

The 2018 Venice Architecture Biennale, curated by Yvonne Farrell and Shelley McNamara under the title of Freespace, will be on view from May 26th to November 25th, 2018 in the Giardini and the Arsenale, and around other venues in Venice.

Top image: Yvonne Farrell and Shelley McNamara, image © Andrea Avezzù, courtesy of La Biennale di Venezia

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