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New Horizon_architecture from Ireland | Chicago Architecture Biennial



New Horizon_architecture from Ireland, a series of presentations of the work of emerging Irish practices in three high-profile venues around the world, opened at Chicago Design Museum on 3 October and ran until 31 January, 2016 as part of the inaugural Chicago Architecture Biennial.

Selected by curators Nathalie Weadick of the Irish Architecture Foundation, and Raymund Ryan of the Heinz Architectural Center at Pittsburgh’s Carnegie Museum of Art, New Horizon_architecture from Ireland presented the work of three practices – A2 Architects (Peter Carroll and Caomhán Murphy), GKMP Architects (Grace Keeley and Michael Pike), and Ryan W. Kennihan Architects – for the first time in Chicago.

In response to the Biennial’s theme, ‘The State of the Art of Architecture’, the three Irish practices had been tasked to make an intervention – part installation, part exhibition – in the Chicago Design Museum. The architects have collaborated on constructing a temporary mirrored canopy, designing and fabricating a generous communal table, and presenting a selection of work from their offices in Dublin. The intervention takes inspiration from Frank Lloyd Wright and Mies van der Rohe’s geometric modernism and shines a light on the art of architecture and specific interests of this new generation of architects. They play with preconceptions of old and new, Ireland and America, labour and pleasure, the room and the city.

The first instalment of New Horizon_architecture from Ireland was at London Festival of Architecture in June, where four Irish practices – TAKA, Clancy Moore, Hall McKnight and Steve Larkin – collaborated on two temporary pavilions in Lewis Cubitt Square, King’s Cross, while a fifth architect, Emmett Scanlon, curated a mini-exhibition, Nine Lives, for the Tank at London’s Design Museum. In December, two further practices – Urban Agency and AP+E –  participated at the Shenzhen/Hong Kong Bi-City Biennale of Urbanism\Architecture, bringing the total number of practices presented through New Horizon_architecture from Ireland to ten. Each practice is asked to collaborate and to work within the context of host venues and of host cities.

Presented in partnership with Chicago Design Museum, this flagship exhibition of Irish architecture and the built environment was a key element of ID2015.

Featured image: Irish Pavilion commissioned by Irish Design 2015, Chicago Architecture Biennale 2015, photo – Alice Clancy