Exhibition Space

The Architecture of Creative Learning Exhibition

Architecture Exhibition in the exhibition space at Expo 2020 featuring architectural models.
The Architecture Exhibition in the Pavilion.

The Architecture of Creative Learning celebrates the innovation and creativity of Irish architects in the design of buildings for education globally. It presents nine architectural projects conceived and built by seven award-winning Irish practices within diverse international cultural and physical contexts.

Within this, it examines three themes present within these projects and Irish architecture broadly: conversation (an attention to the social potential of buildings); construction (an attention to the materiality and structure of buildings); and context (an attention to the influence of place on the design of buildings).

These themes form the basis of a series of conversations through models between the nine projects and a series of younger Irish architectural practices who have been commissioned to realise creative models that reinterpret and re-frame these buildings.

This exhibition was curated and designed by:

Dr. Brian Ward, a lecturer in the Dublin School of Architecture, TU Dublin. Trained as an architect, he has contributed to and curated many publications and exhibitions on Irish architecture. In 2020 he published Irish Housing Design 1950-1980, Out of the Ordinary with Gary Boyd and Michael Pike.

Gary A. Boyd, Professor of Architecture at Queen’s University, Belfast. Trained as an architect, he was co-curator and commissioner of the Irish pavilion for the 14th Architectural Biennale in Venice 2014. He is widely published, and between 2018 and 2021 he was a Leverhulme Major Research Fellow and project leader for a Getty Foundation Keeping it Modern grant.

The nine featured architecture practices are:

Inchicore Model School, Dublin, Ireland by Donaghy and Dimond in 2015

Based in Dublin, Ireland, Donaghy + Dimond Architects was established in 2001 by Marcus Donaghy and Will Dimond. Their work has been published and exhibited in Ireland, Europe and the USA and has been selected for numerous national and international awards for completed buildings. Both are committed to architectural education and teach at University College Dublin.

LSE Saw Swee Hock Student Centre, London, UK by O’Donnell + Tuomey in 2015 and St. Angela’s College, Cork, Ireland in 2015

O’Donnell + Tuomey was founded in Dublin in 1988 by Sheila O’Donnell and John Tuomey. Awarded the RIBA Gold Medal in 2015, they have received over 120 national and international awards for completed buildings. They have been widely published, and position teaching, lecturing and writing as integral parts of their practice. Both were Professors at University College Dublin and they regularly teach and examine in schools in the US, UK and Europe.

Coláiste Naomh Éinne, Inis Mór, Ireland by Paul Dillon Architects in 2020

Based in Connemara in the west of Ireland, Paul Dillon Architects was established in 1999. Dillon studied Architecture at the New York Institute of Technology and at California State Polytechnical University, winning the Richard Neutra Design Award for his Master’s Thesis on affordable housing in Los Angeles. The practice has been recognised with numerous national and international publications and awards.

Coláiste Ailigh Litir Ceanainn, Co.Donegal, Ireland by McGarry Ní Éanaigh Architects in 2014

Established by Michael McGarry and Siobhán Ní Éanaigh in 1985, McGarry Ní Éanaigh Architects is a design-based, architectural practice based in Dublin which has won over 90 national and international awards and whose work has been published widely. Both the principals are committed to research through practice and the furthering of architectural education. McGarry is Professor of Architecture at Queen’s University, Belfast.

University of Greenwich, London, UK by heneghan peng architects in 2014

heneghan peng architects is a design partnership practicing architecture, landscape and urban design. Founded by Shih-Fu Peng and Róisín Heneghan in New York in 1999, heneghan peng opned its Dublin office in 2001. Taking a multi-disciplinary approach to design and collaborating with many leading designers and engineers, they have won numerous international awards, have been shortlisted for the Stirling Prize twice, and have exhibited widely internationally.

Thapar University Learning Laboratory, Punjab, India by McCullough Mulvin Architects in 2020

McCullough Mulvin Architects is a Dublin-based practice working internationally and in Ireland. Founded by Valerie Mulvin and Niall McCullough in 1986, their work has been exhibited widely in Europe, Asia and America with exhibitions in Italy, Germany, the UK, Spain, the Czech Republic, Portugal and India. Committed to international architectural education, McCullough Mulvin also extend their practice through research, writing and films, exploring the themes that inform their work.

University Campus UTEC, Lima by Grafton Architects in 2015

Yvonne Farrell and Shelley McNamara co-founded Grafton Architects in 1978. The practice has won numerous awards for their work including the inaugural RIBA International Prize in 2016, and the RIBA Royal Gold Medal in 2020. Also in 2020, Shelley and Yvonne were selected as the 2020 Pritzker Prize Laureates, known internationally as architecture’s highest honour. In 2021 they were awarded the Stirling Prize. They also teach and examine architecture internationally.

The interpretative models on display were designed and created by:


Founded in 2018 by Jennifer O’Donnell and Jonathan Janssens, Plattenbaustudio are an award winning architecture practice based in Berlin. They have published and exhibited widely, whilst both partners are also engaged in architectural education.


REIR is an award winning collaborative architectural practice established in Dublin in 2020 by Mandy Channon and Colin Mac Suibhne. It is committed to the sensitive design and craft of architecture and teaching.

Dún-na-dTuar + Jamie Whelan Architects

Dún-na-dTuar, founded in Cushendall, Northern Ireland by Catherine Blaney and Jamie Whelan Architects founded in London by Jamie Whelan, are two award-winning practices engaged in teaching and designing domestic space.

Graphic Design by Zero-G: Brand Strategy and Design

Construction by Jack Restan Displays

Visit other areas of the Pavilion:

The Oculus | The Hamilton Room | The Courtyard

Makers' Gallery | Irish Craft and Design | Exhibition Space