Shelley McNamara (born 1952, Lisdoonvarna in County Clare) is an Irish architect. She is a co-founder of Grafton Architects with Yvonne Farrell. Grafton Architects won the World Building of the Year award in 2008 for their Bocconi University building in Milan. In 2015, Grafton Architects was awarded the fourth annual Jane Drew Prize for their "massive influence" on the profession. The practice won the inaugural RIBA International Prize in 2016 for their Universidad de Ingeniería y Tecnología building in Lima, Peru and in 2017 she was appointed, along with Yvonne Farrell, as curator of the 16th Venice Biennale of Architecture in 2018.
She is a fellow of the Royal Institute of the Architects of Ireland, an Honorary Fellow of the Royal Institute of British Architects and elected member of Aosdána, the eminent Irish arts organisation. McNamara is the first architect to be included in Aosdána.
Shelley has worked as a studio lecturer at the School of Architecture in UCD since 1976. Shortly after graduating from University College, Dublin, McNamara began teaching at the school along with Yvonne Farrell, where she has taught consistently between 1976 and 2002. In 2015, McNamara became an adjunct professor at UCD.
In addition to UCD, McNamara has been a visiting professor at Accademia di Architettura, Oxford Books University, Accademia di Architettura, Mendrisio (2008– 2010), Oslo, EPFL and Lausanne (2010–2011). She became a full professor at Mendrisio in 2013. In 2010, McNamara held the Kenzo Tange Chair at Harvard Graduate School of Design and the Louis Kahn Chair at Yale University in Fall 2011. She served as an external examiner at Cambridge University and The London Metropolitan School of Architecture. In addition to teaching, McNamara has lectured widely in European and American Schools of Architecture.
McNamara, together with Yvonne Farrell, published the book Dialogue and Translation: Grafton Architects in 2014. This book comprises the firms work, architectural musings and a collection of lectures delivered at Columbia University's Graduate School of Architecture, Planning, and Preservation. It includes a critical commentary from Kenneth Frampton.
- 2006: Solstice Arts Centre, Navan, Co.Meath, Ireland.
- 2008: Waterloo Lane, Dublin 4, Ireland.
- 2012: University of Limerick Medical School, Limerick, Ireland.
- 2014: Memory / Grafton Architects, with the collaboration of ELISAVA for 300 Years of Catalan Spirit, Spain.
- In progress: London School of Economics and Political Science (LSE) shortlist for the new Global Centre for Social Sciences (GCSS) in London's Aldwych.
- 2017: Curators of 2018 Venice Architecture Biennial / Grafton Architects, Italy.
Awards and Exhibitions
- "Bocconi Projects" in the Italian Pavilion, Venice Biennale 'Next', 2002.
- Dunshaughlin Civic Offices, Co. Meath, Mies van der Rohe Award – European Union Prize for Contemporary Architecture, 2003.
- World Building of the Year Award, 2008 to Grafton Architects for the Universita Luigi Bocconi in Milan, Italy.
- "Universita Luigi Bocconi" nominated for the Mies van der Rohe Award in 2009.
- Universita Luigi Bocconi, Presidents Award, RAIA, 2009.
- Exhibited in the Irish Group Exhibition, The Lives of Spaces, Venice Biennale, 2010.
- "Architecture as New Geography", Silver Lion Award at the Venice Biennale Common Ground Exhibition, 2012.
- University of Limerick Medical School and Pergola Bus Shelter, Shortlisted for the RIBA Stirling Prize, 2013.
- University of Limerick Medical School, Student Residences, Piazza and Pergola, RIBA European Award, 2013.
- "University of Limerick Campus" exhibited in the Sensing Spaces show at the Royal Academy.
- Shortlisted for the 2014 AJ Women in Architecture Awards, 2014.
- Fourth annual Jane Drew Prize, 2015.
- Universidad de Ingeniería y Tecnología, Lima, Peru, RIBA International Prize 2016
- "Woman Architect of the Year shortlist: Yvonne Farrell & Shelley McNamara". architectsjournal.co.uk. Retrieved 14 November 2015.
- "Jane Drew Prize Jointly Awarded to Grafton Co-Founders Yvonne Farrell and Shelley McNamara". ArchDaily. Retrieved 14 November 2015.
- "Shelley McNamara – Current Member | Aosdana". aosdana.artscouncil.ie. Retrieved 14 November 2015.
- Gelder, Compiled By Lawrence Van (23 February 2006). "Arts, Briefly". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved 14 November 2015.
- "About – Grafton Architects". graftonarchitects.ie. Retrieved 14 November 2015.
- "KTH | Shelley McNamara: 'Imagining the Real' (16 Nov)". www.arch.kth.se. Retrieved 14 November 2015.
- "Book Details : Dialogue and Translation". cup.columbia.edu. Retrieved 14 November 2015.
- "Solstice Arts Centre / Grafton Architects". ArchDaily. Retrieved 14 November 2015.
- "Waterloo Lane / Grafton Architects". ArchDaily. Retrieved 14 November 2015.
- "Barcelona Commemorates 300 Years of Catalan Spirit With 7 Public Installations". ArchDaily. Retrieved 14 November 2015.
- "Yvonne Farrell and Shelley McNamara Selected to Curate the 2018 Venice Architecture Biennale". Artforum. Retrieved 19 January 2017.
- "What does it take to be the best building in the world? - CNN". CNN. Retrieved 14 November 2015.
- "Grafton scoops Venice silver lion prize". architectsjournal.co.uk. Retrieved 14 November 2015.
- "2013 RIBA Stirling Prize shortlist announced". Dezeen. Retrieved 14 November 2015.
- "Sensing Spaces | Exhibition | Royal Academy of Arts". www.royalacademy.org.uk. Retrieved 14 November 2015.
- "AJ Releases Shortlist for 2014 Woman Architect of the Year". ArchDaily. Retrieved 14 November 2015.
Shelley McNamara on DesignBoom: https://vimeo.com/62605274
Grafton Architects: http://www.graftonarchitects.ie/