New Exhibition Is A Big Display of Ireland’s Architectural Talent

Last year, the 16th International Architecture Exhibition – La Biennale di Venezia – in Venice was curated by Irish architects Yvonne Farrell and Shelley McNamara. They were the first Irish nationals invited to curate at the festival in it’s 123 year history.

As part of this major event, 16 Irish architect teams were invited to reimagine iconic works by international architects from the 20th Century. This was exhibited as ‘Close Encounter: Meetings With Remarkable Buildings’.

For its Irish debut, the exhibition is set to tour the country. This will be one of the biggest displays of architectural talent seen in Ireland. The show is first being re-staged at The Glucksman Gallery, University College Cork from April 6 to June 20. It will then be exhibited at VISUAL Carlow from September 20 until January 19, 2020.

“Close Encounter calls on the generosity of each of the invited architects to ‘take’ the work of another architect and help it to be remembered, understood, re-valued and appreciated for its own inherent worth,” said Farrell and McNamara in a statement.

Close Encounter which was co-curated by Professor Hugh Campbell. It features immersive sculptural installations by A2 Architects, Boyd Cody Architects, Bucholz McEvoy Architects, Carr Cotter & Naessens Architects, Clancy Moore Architects, Tom dePaor, Dominic Stevens & JFOC, Donaghy + Dimond architects, GKMP Architects, Hassett Ducatez Architects, Heneghan Peng Architects, Kevin Donovan & Ryan W. Kennihan Architects, Mary Laheen & Aoibheann Ní Mhearáin, Noreile Breen, Steve Larkin, Taka Architects.

In this group of sixteen teams, there was a mix of both emerging and more established practitioners. This Irish tour will give opportunity for all participants to present their work to an Irish audience.

The tour is produced by the Irish Architecture Foundation (IAF) in partnership with the Glucksman and VISUAL Carlow. It’s also funded by the Arts Council, with additional support from Dublin Port Company. The IAF, in partnership with The Glucksman and the National Sculpture Factory, will also present the Curating Architecture Conference on April 6 in Cork.

Nathalie Weadick, Director of the IAF, stated ‘Following on from the success of the Venice Architecture Biennale, we are proud to be producing the tour of Close Encounter. The tour gives us a chance to leave a lasting legacy in Ireland for Irish architects, architecture and artistic culture. It will catalyse that legacy for all the participants.”

Meanwhile, Fiona Kearney, Director of the Glucksman, stated “Close Encounter is a thrilling glimpse into the imaginative space of architecture, and the many ways in which architects might interpret a building. It is a privilege for the Glucksman to host the Irish premiere of the exhibition and to share this exploration of structure and space. Our visitors will be fascinated by the ambition and intricacy of the 16 works. They will no doubt inspired to learn more about the importance of architecture in our everyday lives.”

For more details and biographies of all participants, see here.

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