Wallpaper*: Irish takeover: a trio of practices on show at the Chicago Design Museum

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The Irish government’s year-long initiative for promoting the country’s rich design and architecture scene abroad, Irish Design 2015, is now set to make its mark at the Chicago Architecture Biennale, by presenting a series of works by a group of emerging Irish practices in a captivating installation that opened this weekend at the Chicago Design Museum.

Curated by Nathalie Weadick of the Irish Architecture Foundation and Raymund Ryan of the Heinz Architectural Centre at Pittsburgh’s Carnegie Museum of Art, ‘New Horizon: Architecture from Ireland’ is a survey of three young studios: A2 Architects, GKMP Architects and Ryan W Kennihan Architects.

Showing in Chicago for the very first time, the three firms drew inspiration from some of the city’s most celebrated classics, and the approach of grand masters such as Louis Sullivan, Frank Lloyd Wright and Mies van der Rohe, in taking over the museum with a site-specific installation. The geometric structure is an immersive experience that creates the perfect framework to showcase the Dublin-based studios’ work.

This exhibition, which will be open to the public until early 2016, is the second installment of Irish Design 2015’s series of architectural exhibitions – the first one, including two pavilions by TAKA, Clancy Moore, Hall McKnight and Steve Larkin, was inaugurated last summer at King’s Cross during the London Festival of Architecture.

A second part of the Irish Chicago presence goes beyond the biennale’s timeframe and proposes a daring addition for Chicago: the Gold Pavilion. A collaboration between the three firms, which the organisation hopes to be able to build in the future, the Gold Pavilion is a mooted light public structure that will playfully echo the mirror-play within their biennale installation, while highlighting the Irish presence in the city.