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2019 Programme, Exhibition, Public realm, Venice Architecture Biennale

Close Encounter: Meetings with Remarkable Buildings

Close Encounter: Meetings with Remarkable Buildings opened on 6 April- to 20 June 2019 in The Glucksman, Cork followed by Visual Carlow from 20 September 2019 to 19 January 2020.

“Together with our collaborator, Hugh Campbell, we asked sixteen, contemporary practicing architect teams to research one selected building, each of which was chosen by us. 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”

Yvonne Farrell and Shelley McNamara, Curators, FREESPACE

Close Encounter tour is produced by the Irish Architecture Foundation in partnership with the  The Glucksman and Visual Carlow. Photos taken by Jed Niezgoda in the Glucksman.

The tour gives us a chance to leave a lasting legacy in Ireland for Irish architects, architecture and artistic culture, and will catalyse that legacy for all the participants in the 2018 Venice Architecture Biennale. In this group of sixteen teams, there was a mix of both emerging and more established practitioners. The tour will give opportunity to all participants to present their work to an Irish audience.

Within the concept of Close Encounter, each assigned the work of an architect from the past, chosen by the curators. The task is for each practice to interpret this work in a way, which represented the core idea of the chosen building, in a way that will communicate with the public, and in a way, which will bring the legacy of this work alive.

The group of sixteen teams were:

A2 Architects, Odyssey: Oíza, Oteiza, Museo-Fundación Oteiza, Alzuza, Spain, Francisco Javier Sáenz de Oíza Architects.

Boyd Cody Architects, Spatial Grounding, E-1027, Roquebrune, and Tempe á Pailla, Castellar, Alpes Maritimes, France, Eileen Gray.

Bucholz McEvoy Architects, Olmsted In Buffalo: City in a Park, Delaware Park, Buffalo, USA, Frederick Law Olmsted.

Carr Cotter & Naessens Architects, Salle Cortot, Ecole Normale de Musique de Paris, Auguste Perret.

Clancy Moore Architects, Hornbækhus, Københavns, Denmark, Kay Otto Fisker.

Tom dePaor, Chiesa di San Giovanni Battista “dell’Autostrada”, Campi Bisenzio, Firenze, Italy, Giovanni Michelucci.

Dominic Stevens, JFOC, Inventing Space for Action, Maravillas Gymnasium, Madrid, Spain, Alejandro De La Sota.

Donaghy + Dimond architects, Carlos Cascaldi, Anhembi Tennis Club, São Paulo, Brazil, João Batista Vilanova Artigas.

GKMP Architects, Edificio de viviendas Girasol, Madrid, Spain, José Antonio Coderch de Sentmenat.

Hassett Ducatez Architects, Edificio per abitazioni in via Quadronno 24,Milano, Italy, Angelo Mangiarotti and Bruno Morasutti.

Heneghan Peng Architects, Beinecke Rare Book and Manuscript Library, Yale University, New Haven, USA, Gordon Bunshaft of Skidmore, Owings and Merrill.

Kevin Donovan & Ryan W. Kennihan Architects, Maison du Peuple , Clichy, France, Jean Prouvé, Eugène Beaudouin, Marcel Lods, Vladimir Bodiansky.

Mary Laheen & Aoibheann Ní Mhearáin, Centre Jeanne Hachette, Ivry sur Seine, Paris, France, Jean Rénaudie.

Noreile Breen, Casa Luis Barragán, Ciudad de México, Mexico, Luis Barragán.

Steve Larkin, Otaneimi Chapel, Aalto University in Espoo, Finland, Kaija and Heikki Siren.

Taka Architects, Centro Comunal y Recreativo Nueva Santa Fe, Bogotá, Colombia, Rogelio Salmona.

Photos taken by Jed Niezgoda in the Glucksman.


Funded by the Arts Council, supported by Dublin Port Company.


Close Encounter: Meetings with Remarkable Buildings grew out of the Venice Mentoring Initiative as a Special Project of Yvonne Farrell and Shelley McNamara, Curators of Freespace, the 16th International Architecture Exhibition, Venice. 

 Funded by the Arts Council, the aim of the initiative was to enable sixteen Irish architects, who were invited to participate at the 2018 Biennale, to develop skills in presenting and communicating their work to a public audience in Venice. The tour gives audiences here an opportunity to engage with this unique exhibition of architecture while contributing to the legacy of the Mentoring Initiative for architectural practice, curation and culture in Ireland.