Ireland at Venice 2012 exhibition opens in Dublin.


The exhibition celebrating the return of Ireland’s representation at the Venice Architecture Biennale 2012 opened on Friday May 10th in Dublin’s CHQ Building in the Docklands.


The national representation features the work of heneghan peng architects, while the exhibition also features two other architecture firms that exhibited in the Biennale. Grafton Architects and O’Donnell & Tuomey Architects were invited to participate in the Biennale by the Artistic Director, internationally renowned architect David Chipperfield. The former won the prestigious Silver Lion Award at the Biennale.


Shifting Ground – Beyond National Architecture: For the Irish Pavilion at the 13th International Architecture Exhibition – Shifting Ground. In a site specific response, heneghan peng architects designed an oscillating ‘bench’ that invites visitors to balance their respective weights. The work considers issues of geometry and number in the architects’ work, while the level of the ‘bench’ was measured from the mark of the acqua alta (water line) on the old brickwork of the Arsenale building in Venice.


Grafton Architects were awarded the Silver Lion for their exhibition ‘Architecture as New Geography’. The exhibit explores themes of ‘architecture as new geography’ and ‘abstracted landscape’, focussing on two structures by two different architectural practices, forming a sense of ‘Common Ground’. The two structures are, the Brazilian architect Mendes daRocha’s Serra Dourada Stadium in Goiania, Brazil and Grafton Architects’ university campus in Lima.


O’Donnell and Tuomey Architects invited practitioners to contribute to their installation “Vessel”. The title “Vessel” has associations with both circulation and craft, and is suggestive of embodiment, enshrinement and containment. “Our Common Ground is collected under this heading, highlighting the relation of ideas, objects, and materials that combine , inform and influence our work”.


This is the first exhibition in the national tour of the Irish representation in Venice which will be shown as part of the Galway Arts Festival in July and at the National Sculpture Factory in Cork in September.


The exhibition opened to coincide with the EFAP European Forum on Architectural Poilicy conference, part of Ireland”s EU Presidency events.


On opening the exhibition Minister Quinn said, “This exhibition is a celebration of the success, nationally and internationally, of the achievements of contemporary Irish architecture. High quality design will be a key element in the delivery of a sustainable future.”


L-R Yvonne Farrell, Shelley McNamara (Grafton Architects), Ruairì Quinn T.D. Minister for Education and Skills,  Elizabeth Francis Commissioner for Ireland.



VENUE: The CHQ Building, Docklands, Dublin 1

The exhibition will be open daily for three weeks from Saturday 11th May to Sunday 2nd June 2013.


Ireland at Venice is an initiative of Culture Ireland, in partnership with the Arts Council, the Irish Government agency for funding and developing the arts.

The Irish tour of Ireland’s representation at the Venice Architecture Biennale 2012 is supported by the Arts Council as part of its commitment to promote architecture to Irish audiences.

Supported by the Government Programme on Architecture 2013 Implementation Programme.

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